CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Nicholas County High School closed Thursday to help students deal with the death of a former classmate.
A student who graduated from the school last year committed suicide Wednesday, and administrators decided to let students have the day off to cope with the loss, said Nicholas County Schools Superintendent Beverly Kingery.
"The student was dating a girl who still attends Nicholas County High School, and emotions were running very high because of the situation. Many students knew him well. We thought it was in the best interest of everyone to close school today," she said. "The safety of students always comes first."
While no classes were held on Thursday, the school remained open to offer grief counseling to students and to prepare teachers on how to address the issue.
"We've never dealt with something like this before. We thought the kids needed to have some time to process what had happened. In cases like these, young people need that time. It's a very tragic event not only for our small community, but for any community," said Nicholas County High principal Bill Dobbins.
"He was a good kid," Dobbins said of the student.