The (CUSD) has assembled a crisis team to help students, staff and families at Calavera Hills Middle School (CHMS) cope with the apparent suicide of an eighth-grade student.
Jennifer (Jenny) Cortez was found dead at her Oceanside home Sunday, Oct. 2.
According to CHMS Principal Catina Hancock, Jenny was a great student with a ready smile and many interests and friends. Hancock says, “I am devastated. Jenny was a sweet, beautiful, 14-year-old girl who played in our school orchestra and always had a smile on her face. On Friday, we bumped into each other in the hall and shared a laugh. She displayed no apparent symptoms of depression. We are all so sad and confused.”
A Facebook page created for her is filling up with condolences. She is described as, "Jenny Cortez: athlete, band player, hilarious, gorgeous, fun loving girl at CHMS♥♥♥." One friend writes, "Jenny, Today we are honoring You ♥♥♥ we are all going to wear bright colors for you. we miss you so deeply." Another Facebook entry had noted that "Jenny said if she died to wear bright colors not black."
In response to the death, (CUSD), with the assistance and cooperation of several agencies, assembled its crisis team.
The district’s crisis team has met with CHMS staff and a parents’ forum will be held after school Monday. Crisis counselors are available at CHMS and at all district sites.
CUSD District Superintendent John A. Roach, Ed.D., asks the media and public to respect the privacy of CHMS students and staff. He says, “Any death is tragic, but the apparent suicide of a young person is unfathomable, especially to peers. While the Oceanside Police Department investigates the death and our school community works through the many emotions connected with this incident, we vigorously request that anyone who does not have to be at Calavera, or any CUSD site, allow us time to begin the process of healing. I thank you for your understanding.”