Van ISD offers support to students after 8th-grader dies in crash

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Van ISD announced on its Facebook page that the district is mourning a studentwho died following a car crash.

According to the post, Fernando Vela, an 8th-grade student at Van Junior High School, died from injuries sustained in a single-car crash Saturday night.

“Fernando had a lot of friends and students looked up to him,” said Van Junior High Principal Richard Pride. “He was a leader among his peers. He was energetic, athletic, respectful, and had a great love for his family. This is a sad day for the Van Junior High School family. Fernando will be greatly missed.”

“Fernando had a big heart and loved to help people. He probably tried harder than anyone in our football program. He loved football and loved being a Vandal,” said Coach Justin Stanfield.

The post said counselors will be available at school for students beginning Monday “and will remain on campus for as long as they are needed.”

It also urged parents to watch their children for signs of emotional trauma, including:

  • Restlessness, nervous behavior
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Difficulty sleeping, frequent nightmares
  • Fear of being alone
  • Repeatedly asking questions
  • Concentrating on previous losses and events
  • Change in eating or sleeping habits
  • Loss of interest in activities that he/she previously found pleasure in doing
  • Significant changes in grades

Any such signs should be reported to school counselors, the post said.

“Please do not hesitate to seek our support. “Together we will help and care for one another as we move through this difficult time.”

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