Fargo Elementary School mourns loss of student

Photo by: Fargo Public School District
Photo by: Fargo Public School District

(Fargo, ND) -- A shocking and tragic loss is being felt hard in the Fargo Schools community.

The District has confirmed to WDAY Radio that a student at Clara Barton Hawthorne Elementary School committed suicide on January 26th, last Thursday.

Below is a statement released by the Principal and Counselor of Clara Barton to parents and guardians of students who attend the school.


"Dear Parents and Guardians of students at Clara Barton Hawthorne Elementary School,

On the evening of Thursday, January 26th, a Clara Barton student died by suicide.

The students and staff of Clara Barton Elementary School are saddened by the news of the death.  Teachers shared a brief message regarding the death with their students. Students in fifth grade were told the cause of death. Students in grades 3 and 4 were told the cause of death if they inquired. Students attending Hawthorne were not told the cause of death. School counselors have been made available at the school to meet with students and staff to help them process the situation. Students are invited to express their feelings and thoughts with one another, with the counselors, with their teachers, and with their parents/guardians. 

Below is a list of common problems students may experience after a death. If you have any questions regarding your child’s reactions, please contact the school office. If you or your child are having difficulty processing this situation, help is available through the school or the National Helpline at 988.

This is very difficult thing to process for our Husky family. We are here to support one another as a school family during this difficult time. 


Becky Folden, Principal & Steffanie Jorgenson, Counselor"


In response to this tragic event, the School District has released some common problems students may experience after a death. They include:


  • Tiredness
  • Headaches
  • Nightmares
  • Trouble sleeping, prolonged sleeping
  • Stomach aches
  • Having symptoms of the person who died


  • Loneliness
  • Helplessness
  • Shock
  • Yearning
  • Anger
  • Fear
  • Guilt
  • Preoccupation
  • Panic
  • Confusion
  • Irritability
  • Relief
  • Numbness
  • Depression
  • Disbelief


  • Overall hurts
  • Hollowness in stomach
  • Tightness in chest
  • Tightness in throat
  • Oversensitivity to noise
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dry mouth
  • Hot or cold sweat
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Chills/shaking/fainting


  • Sleep disturbances
  • Appetite disturbances
  • Absent mindedness/lack of concentration
  • Social withdrawal
  • Restlessness
  • Crying or absence of tears
  • Flight
  • Avoidance by creating distractions
  • Giggling
  • Immobilization


  • Flashbacks (often associated with guilt)
  • Avoidance of reminders
  • Diminished interest
  • Sense of foreshortened future
  • Concentration impairment
  • Reactions at the time of the anniversary of the event
  • Recurrent dreams and fear of sleeping
  • Loss of recently acquired skills
  • Numbed feelings
  • Outbursts of anger
  • Panic attacks