By Casey Peacock: PNT Staff Writer
Grief-stricken faculty and staff from Steiner Elementary gathered on Tuesday morning to offer support to the classmates of Lorenzo Cabral, Jr., who died on Jan. 4.
School counselors were on-site to visit with the students parents about the situation. After a brief meeting with the parents, the counselors then went into the classroom and explained to the children what the situation was and ways that it could be dealt with, said Becky Flen, Steiner Elementary Principal.
“They (the counselors), let the children know that we would be talking about the sadness we are feeling in our hearts,” said Flen.
Counselors tried to reinforce the positive of the situation, by asking students to talk about and share their memories of Lorenzo. They were also encouraged to draw pictures of their memories. The pictures were then taken and given to Lorenzo’s father at the funeral, said Flen.
“He (Lorenzo’s father) accepted them graciously for what they are going through,” said Flen.
Holding her emotions back, Dona Hampton, Lorenzo’s teacher relayed how the pictures her students drew depicted how Lorenzo was. He enjoyed playing on the playground with his friends and playing basketball. Lorenzo was also known for chasing the girls around the playground, said Hampton.
In 26 years of teaching, Hampton said she has not had to face a situation like this. She felt that the counselors have done a good job of talking to the students and explaining the situation. The students, at this point, seem to be handling everything well, said Hampton.
“They are understanding that Lorenzo is not with us anymore, and that we will miss him and love him,” said Hampton.
“Lorenzo was a model student, he made good grades, he was caring and respectful. He was a sweet lovable guy. You love all of your kids, but he is the one I would have taken home,” said Hampton.