Middle schoolers mourn loss of classmate killed in shooting

Children at Park Forest Middle School are mourning the loss of one of their own.
Published: May. 15, 2023 at 4:51 PM CDT

CENTRAL, La. (WAFB) - Children at Park Forest Middle School are mourning the loss of one of their own. Seventh grade student Cedrica Lee was shot and killed on Saturday, May 13. She was 12 years old.

Cedrica Lee
Cedrica Lee(Source: Family)

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The East Baton Rouge Parish School System released a statement:

Our hearts are heavy as we mourn the loss of one of our students. The East Baton Parish Rouge School System has been informed of this tragic event and our Executive Leadership teams have taken action. We are working quickly to inform School Leadership to provide support for those affected by this tragedy. On Monday, May 15th, the EBRPSS ICare teams, consisting of School Administration, School Counselors, ICare Specialists, and Social Workers, will be at Park Forest Middle to offer support to affected students. Our priority is to ensure the safety and security of our students while providing a plan of action for postvention.

“We take into consideration the timing of the incident and the level of the student,” said Erin Bradford, director of ICare. “All of those things matter.”

Each school is staffed with an ICare specialist.

ICare is responsible for educating students after a tragedy. It works to educate students on crisis response and management.

“Normally, we follow that student’s schedule and have a round table talk at the beginning of class. We have to address the empty seat. We get a pulse of the students,” explained Bradford.

But that may not be enough for some students. Bradford said the talks can help them identify the students that may need more guidance and one-on-one time.

“We put them in a triage area. We have people waiting on them to counsel them,” added Bradford.

She said every tragedy is different, so the approach has to be different.

“High school students are more resilient. In middle school, developmentally, they are more internal. We have to be mindful. Elementary students are a lot more conversations and questions,” said Bradford.

The support and help do not just apply to students. ICare is there to help teachers and administrators as well.

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