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How schools can deal with death

When Christopher Hall was in primary school, a fellow student from his year failed to show up to class on Monday. The teacher simply said he wouldn’t be coming to class anymore. It turned out that over the weekend this young boy had been electrocuted and died. This was never addressed directly: the class moved on with regular lessons as if the boy and his family had moved away suddenly. Hall is now the CEO of the Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement has held this role for almost 20 years. Before that he worked as a psychologist within the Victorian education department, and has experience counselling school-age kids in one-on-one situations. He highlighted this early experiencing of glimpsing death and the hushed, near silent, approach taken by his teacher as an influential moment in his path to becoming a leading authority on how to nurture students through the phases of trauma that might visit them following a bereavement.

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