Montgomery Co. school leaders work to support community after two high school students found dead

BLACKSBURG, Va. – Two Blacksburg High School students are dead after an apparent murder-suicide.

Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Bernard Bragen said situations like this impact the entire community.

“When these tragedies occur, you look at the ripple effects of the impact--like the ripples in a pond,” Bragen said. “In a small community, it affects everyone.”

When Bragen heard the devastating news that two Blacksburg High School students had died, his team immediately put a plan in place to help the students who were hurting.

“As soon as we got that information last night our administrative team worked diligently to put supportive services in place,” Bragen said.

He said he’s dealt with similar situations like this before, but it’s just as difficult every time.

“As a parent of three daughters, I can’t imagine what these families are going through,” said Bragen. “We’re not made to bury our kids.”

He also said he believes the best way to get through this is to grieve as a community.

“I found in my own personal experience working with children that, it’s better sometimes to do that in a group with other people around you,” said Bragen. “We grieve together and get through this together.”

The school system is also working with local organizations to support students, staff, and families.

“This has a devastating impact on our community, and we are going to try our best to try and get through it together,” Bragen said.

Blacksburg Police said they believe the incident was isolated and the investigation is ongoing.

Bragen said though they were in school today, it was not business as usual and that they are taking this one day at a time.

About the Author

Thomas grew up right here in Roanoke and is a graduate of Salem High School and Virginia Tech.

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