Message from the Superintendent
Dear CISD Family,
It is with profound heartbreak and sadness I write to share the devastating news of the passing of one of our Austin Elementary 5th graders Jaxon Campbell. Jaxon passed away December 27, 2019, while visiting family during Winter Break. Our thoughts, prayers and deepest condolences go out to the family, friends, classmates and teachers of this beloved student. During this time, as the Austin Elementary school community processes the tragic news and copes with grief, we will offer counseling and bereavement support services to students and staff when we return on January 6, 2020.
Jaxon was a fun-loving, sweet, and outgoing boy, who was known for his kindness, energy and sweet smile. He loved sports, especially football and basketball, and being with his friends and family, especially his younger sister. He will be missed terribly, and the memories of him as a vibrant, fun-loving child should be cherished.
When such a tragedy strikes a vibrant young boy, many questions arise as to the cause. From the start, we have been in close contact with his family and Dallas County Health Department medical professionals, who have shared what they know about the situation. At this point, we know that Jaxon had the flu, though the confirmed cause of death is still pending.
As we know, the flu is a serious health risk, and regardless of its possible connection with this tragedy, it is important for everyone to take appropriate precautions. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the first line of defense is getting the flu shot. Other preventative measures include covering coughs and sneezes, washing hands and keeping sick people away from others.
Anyone experiencing signs and symptoms of the flu, as listed by the CDC at www.cdc.gov/flu/symptoms/symptoms.htm should seek advice from a medical professional. It also is important to keep children at home while sick. As a reminder, it is in the CISD Health Attendance Guidelines that sick students stay home until they are free of a fever for 24 hours without the aid of medication, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
As parents and guardians, it is our responsibility to speak with our children about challenging topics, such as death and grief. These conversations can be exceptionally challenging given the heavy emotional elements and our own grief as we attempt to process something that is so hard to comprehend. I want to share some resources with you about helping your child through the grieving process. The Parent Toolkit resource on the Coppell ISD website has several articles on this topic, including:
- Supporting Your Child in Grief: http://www.parenttoolkit.com/social-and-emotional-development/news/supporting-your-child-in-grief and
- How to Help a Grieving Child: https://www.dougy.org/grief-resources/how-to-help-a-grieving-child/.
Counselors and designated support staff are at our schools are ready to assist students and staff when we return from Winter Break, and beyond, as needed.
As I truly believe we are a CISD family, I know the loss of one of our students affects us all, especially those who knew and were close to Jaxon and his family. As we struggle through this heartbreaking tragedy together, I hope we can find comfort in the love and compassion we share for each other in our CISD family.
I want to close by reiterating again that our collective hearts and condolences go out to the Campbell family, as they are continually in our thoughts and prayers.
Dr. Brad Hunt