By Beth David, Editor
Fairhaven’s LL Wood School community is mourning the loss of a kindergarten student, and struggling to explain it all to her classmates.
Teagan Palmer, 6, died the night of February 10-11 and the cause of her death is a mystery.
Parents of classmates are heartbroken as they try to explain to her little friends what happened.
Fairhaven Superintendent of Schools, Robert N. Baldwin, posted a letter on the district’s website on Sunday. He said that the district called parents of Teagan’s classmates immediately, but did not use an automated message with the information.
“You want to give a parent the right and ability to discuss something like this at home. You want to do it in a caring manner,” he said. “God forbid you do it in a robocall and a child picks up.”
So, he said, they made sure a person connected to the parent in each household. They used a combination of email and telephone calls. Then they put the letter on the website.
“We tried to the best of our ability to make sure it was adult to adult,” said Dr. Baldwin.
The school district had a crisis team available at Wood School on Monday for students and staff, and professionals will be available as long as they are needed. He started out, he said, with people in the district, so the students were familiar with the faces.
“Procedurally and mechanically, we do our job, but you have to be human,” he said.
People often wonder what to say, he said, and how to act.
“My best advice is just to be there,” said Dr. Baldwin. “Give a hug if needed. Listen. And, sometimes, you look at each other and you don’t have any words.”
“Sending my broken-hearted kindergartener to school today to face the loss of one of his favorite classmates is one of the hardest things I’ve experienced as a parent,” wrote one mother on Facebook. “Thinking of the entire Wood School family today as they face this tragedy together. Send lots of love and thoughts to her family, as they face the unthinkable.”
“My heart is broken. I can’t stop thinking of her huge smile,” wrote another. “She was such a sweet heart. I can’t imagine the pain her family is going through. Love to all.”
According to the police department, the call came in at 6:22 a.m. on Sunday, but neither the police nor fire department would say what the nature of the call was. The fairhaven police department referred all questions pertaining to the investigation to the DA’s office. However, they did express their deepest sympathies to the family during this “unimaginably tragic event.”
A GoFundMe page has been started for the family.
“Josh and Monica Palmer are two of the most [kind] genuine individuals/ parents someone could ever be lucky enough to meet,” reads the page. “Tragically, their 6 year old daughter unexpectedly and unexplainably passed away in her sleep on February 10th/11th. Teagan always had a smile on her face. She was full of joy and happiness. Unfortunately, Josh, Monica and Sierra have to go through the worst thing anyone could ever encounter, losing a loved one. I ask that anyone if not everyone to please make a donation to help this family with services and anything else they might need during this time of grieving. Anything is appreciated.”
Visit https://www.gofundme.com/55817z4 to donate. As of press time, the page had generated $3,085 of the $25,000 goal.
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