Dear Parents, Guardians, and Caregivers,
It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that I inform you of the tragic and untimely death of Samantha Humphrey, a student at Schenectady High School. Samantha has been missing and police have been searching for her since late November. Today, police confirmed that they located Samantha in the Mohawk River last week and that she has died.
This news is disturbing and is deeply affecting all of us. I, along with everyone in our school community, share the sadness and grief surrounding Samantha’s passing. Her potential was limitless and she will be greatly missed.
The news of Samantha’s passing is widespread. We encourage you to talk with your child as death impacts each of us in different ways. How children and teens react depends on the relationship they had with the person who died, their age, and prior experience with death. Even if your child did not know Samantha, hearing about a young person’s death can trigger feelings of sadness, fear, and anger. Any reaction is normal in the grief process. Some children appear unaffected. Some ask many questions, withdraw, are moody, sad or depressed, become scared, or have difficulty sleeping or eating. Your child may also have unresolved feelings that they would like to discuss with you. You can help by listening carefully, not overreacting and accepting their feelings. We will provide the same support in school.
We are providing a list of resources in the event that you or your child need immediate support. These are all confidential help-lines with trained professionals ready to assist and support you.
Text Got5 to 741741 and a trained counselor will contact you.
Text to 988 for 24/7, confidential support to people in suicidal crisis or mental health-related distress.
Mobile Crisis: Call 518-292-5499
Ellis Crisis Unit: Call 518-243-3300
TBH Counseling: Follow link to sign-up
Members of our student support team including counselors, social workers, and psychologists, along with community mental health providers, will be on-site at Schenectady High School today and throughout the week to support students and staff who need to talk about their feelings. Support will be provided at additional schools if needed. These services will be available for as long as our school community needs.
If you have questions, concerns, or feel that your child is in need of additional support, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We will continue to work together as a school community to support you and your child during this very difficult time.
On behalf of the school community, I offer sympathy and prayers to Samantha’s family, friends, and classmates.
Please contact your child’s teacher if you have concerns or questions regarding your child or the steps we are taking to support our school community.
Anibal Soler, Jr.
Superintendent of Schools