A Meadowdale High School student Friday collapsed and died during PE class, according to a letter sent home to the school’s families.
Matthew Truax, a 16-year-old junior, was an “all around nice kid,” Meadowdale principal Kevin Allen said.
Here’s the letter Allen sent to families Friday:
Dear Meadowdale Parents:
It is with deep sadness that we share the unexpected death of a member of our junior class. Matthew Truax died unexpectedly this morning. With the permission of Matthew’s family we are sharing this tragic news as well as to give you resources which may assist your son or daughter. Matthew was in third period PE class when he collapsed. Staff, paramedics and hospital staff responded but were unable to revive him. His family asks that they be given time to grieve privately. Those who knew Matthew knew him as a respectful, hard-working young man who was serious about his education; an all-around nice kid who we will miss. I know you join us in sending his family our deepest condolences during this difficult time.
This may be your son or daughter’s first experience with death or it may be that this death brings back feelings from past experiences. It is particularly difficult in this case as it is someone that your child may have known through class or simply that your child faces his or her own mortality for the first time. Our counselors, as well as counselors from across the Edmonds School District, will be available to our students throughout Monday, and longer if necessary in both classrooms as well as small groups. If you feel your child needs additional, individual support at school please call your child’s counselor. Our faculty and staff will remain highly visible and accessible to students. We will have safe rooms for students to meet and process their grief with friends as well as a trusted adult.
As you know, it is important to reassure your child that you love them and will support them as they come to cope with this information. Your child may express feelings of shock, denial, confusion, anger, or sadness. He or she may lack energy, lose his or her appetite, withdraw from friends and family and may experience difficulty sleeping. Grief is a very individual process and there is no timeline. If a student leans toward depression or self-harming behavior, this can be a particularly difficult time. We encourage you to be especially vigilant in providing a safe and nurturing support system so that your child knows that he or she can come to you at any time.
If you feel that your student would benefit from assistance, beyond what is available at school we would encourage you to contact the following professional resources:
Care Crisis Line 800.584.3578
Compass Health 888.693.7200
Swedish Edmonds Hospital Grief Support 425.640.4404
Kevin Allen, Principal, and the Staff of Meadowdale High School