Sudden death of Princeton high school student brings community c - News, Weather & Sports

Community holding suicide awareness walk in honor of teen


The sudden death of a Princeton High School student has brought a community closer together.

Officials said 16-year-old Princeton sophomore Dayna Rainbolt died Friday night at Gibson General Hospital. 

On Tuesday night, her principal told 14 News that whenever any student or staff member dies, the school immediately starts looking for ways to help the grieving process easier. 

"Grief happens in stages and it's a different pace for each person," principal Job Abbey said. 

Abbey said whenever a tragedy strikes, the school has social workers, guidance counselors, and ministers available. 

"Staff members who are close with kids supported kids and kids supported staff members," Abbey said.  

Abbey told 14 News that just about a month ago, the school lost a guidance counselor. It was during that time of mourning, he saw how tight knit the school really is.

"The kids picked us up and that was really the silver lining in a very dark cloud," Abbey said. 

Whether a death stems from an accident, a health problem, or a suicide, the principal believes the whole high school is typically affected. 

"With 650 kids in our school, it's not rare for us to know our kids. That's the benefit of a smaller high school frankly," Abbey told 14 News.

He said that no matter the circumstance, it's important faculty and students lean on each other. 

"There's always somebody around to help in these schools and we ask for that open channel, the doors are open to help kids, share with someone your concerns always. There's usually a friend or an adult around that can help you," Abbey said.

Dayna was involved in quite a few school clubs and activities, including an anti-bullying club. That group will be holding an awareness walk at the PCHS Tiger Stadium track on Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to noon, in part to honor Dayna. It will be a 10 mile walk for depression and suicide awareness. 

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