Sad news to share

Dear Families,
It is with great sorrow that we reach out to our school community to share some sad news. Henley High School senior Ryan Dotson died Tuesday, May 30 from an apparent drowning. Please join us in sending prayers and strength to the family and friends of Ryan during this difficult time.

The district has sent crisis teams to Henley and Mazama high schools to help students and staff throughout today (May 30) and tomorrow (May 31). Even though it may be difficult, we encourage all students to come to school on Wednesday, May 31 so they can process this event with their peers and teachers with the help of professional support. If you have any further questions please contact our district crisis team lead Stacey Ramirez at 541-281-8202 or via email at

This event might bring up questions, concerns or fears for your child. Here are some ways that you can support your child at home:
— Be sensitive about whether they want to talk.
— Bring it up in case they are reluctant to do so.
— Ask about their reactions and accept those feelings as stated.
— Resist the temptation to minimize the pain, deny the feelings or give advice.
— Simply listen and provide empathy

Here are helpful responses on your part:
— Be sensitive about whether they want to talk.
— Tell me more about that.
— I wonder how you are feeling about what has happened?
— Are there things that are worrying you?
— Be emotionally available and non-judgmental
— Realize kids move in and out of the grief process and it can be very intense when they are experiencing sadness, anxiety, or fear. Encourage them to go outside, have fun, be active, and celebrate life. Those periods of reprieve are important to sustain health and recovery.

There will be challenging weeks ahead. We know our staff and school community will come together and support each other and Ryan’s family during this time.

Glen Szymoniak
Klamath County School District