Elsa school prepares for addressing unexpected death of second-grade student
Saturday marked one week since a mobile home fire took the lives of three family members in rural Edinburg.
Now, administrators at Lyndon B. Johnson Elementary School in Elsa are preparing for how they will handle the tragic loss of one of their students.
"We always tell our kids, 'Have a good holiday, have a good break, stay safe and we'll see you back,'” said LBJ Elementary Principal Aminita Limas. “We never think that their life may be cut short, in a blink of an eye."
With class resuming on Jan. 9, Limas says they will have to carefully address the death of second-grade student Ricardo “Ricky” Gomez to his classmates.
“We are going to do the best that we can to try and make it as easy and comfortable for her and students that are going to be here,” said LBJ Elementary school counselor Ninfa Silva. “It’s going to be hard, but we are going to be here and make them aware that we are here to listen and to care for their needs, because we are not only concerned for the academic side of the student, but the emotional side is really important, too."
Silva and Limas have both been in the educational industry for about 25 years and a student loss is a first experience for both of them.
"I had the teacher call some of the parents beforehand so they can start preparing their child for that day because some may have heard about it already— others may not have, and so we want it from their parents first," said Limas.
Ricky’s father was at work at the time the fire started on Dec. 30. Ricky’s brother, Pablo Gomez, was rescued from the fire just in time.
After medical treatment in San Antonio, Pablo is recovering and back in the Rio Grande Valley. Lima says he is prepping for his return to Jorge R. Gutierrez early childhood school on Tuesday.
LBJ Elementary is holding a barbecue plate fundraiser for Pablo and his father at the campus on Jan. 13 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.