Our loss of Chantelle has brought profound sadness and had deep, lasting impact to the school family, and we thank you for allowing us the time to begin our grieving together.
Following the tragic and premature death of one of their students, Chantelle Jones, Castell Alun High School wishes to thank everyone for their support and concern in such trying times, and particularly for respecting the privacy of Chantelle’s family and school friends.
Mr Paul Edwards, Acting Headteacher at Castell Alun High School – “Our school family has suffered an absolutely devastating loss. We have no words which can fully express the pain and hurt that we all feel, and yet we know that Chantelle’s family are experiencing sorrow on an altogether different scale.
Chantelle had such a lovely way of showing she cared, and this was evident to all, but especially those in her close friendship group. She had both spirit and character, and we all recognised her wonderful potential. No family or community should ever have to experience a loss of this kind.
School does not feel right without Chantelle. We will all miss her; I suspect in ever-increasing measure over the coming weeks. At Castell Alun, we will support and care for each other in order to find a path through, but acknowledge that it will take considerable time for any of us to comprehend that such a promising young student has been taken from us in this cruel manner, and Chantelle will remain in our hearts forever.”
Miss Beth Jones – Student Development Manager for Chantelle’s Year 9 Group – “We are heartbroken to hear of the tragic passing of our Year 9 student Chantelle. She joined us at the start of Year 7, and throughout her all too brief time with us it was so clear that Chantelle had a beautiful soul. She will be so very sorely missed by her family, friends, teachers, and peers here at Ysgol Castell Alun. Chantelle was a caring and loving friend and she tirelessly put others before herself. The amount of love, sorrow and upset shown since Chantelle’s passing shows the massive impact she had on everyone she met. As a school we will support our students and staff through this tragic time, and all our love goes out to Chantelle’s family.’
We are distraught at the passing of Chantelle, and over a number of years now we have endeavoured to educate all students on the acceptable use of social media. Schools are no different from any other areas of society, whether in professional, social, or academic settings, and we are certainly not immune to the misuse of such forms of communication.
Bullying is absolutely abhorrent in all its forms and indeed a social disease in its own right, which can and must not be tolerated wherever it is unearthed. In our own families we know very well the potential impact of upsetting messages, which can arrive, unbeknown to parents and teachers, at any time of day or night and have a direct and sometimes lasting immediate impact on relationships and friendships.
At school, when we are made aware of such information, we investigate these matters immediately and work incredibly hard to support students affected, whilst also seeking to help and educate those who need to understand the consequences of their wrongful actions, albeit outside of school hours. We follow a school anti-bullying policy and work closely with the police and many other agencies for support in issues arising both through social media and off the school premises.
Chantelle was so very happy when in school, and we are eager that her last journey should bring her through Castell Alun so that her many friends and teachers here can bid her farewell. We miss her immensely and the hole she leaves in our hearts cannot be filled. We stand together in absolute unity with all members of the public in grieving Chantelle’s passing, and like so many others, we must continue to do all in our power to work closely with all families and professional agencies to ensure that Chantelle’s memory is honoured and that bullying in any form is never deemed acceptable in any parts of our society.
· Papyrus UK https://papyrus-uk.org/
· Cruse https://www.cruse.org.uk/
· Mind Cymru https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/guides-to-support-and-services/bereavement/bereavement-by-suicide/
· Childline- they have some online resources around bereavement (including a small section on losing someone to suicide).
· As well as their phoneline, they also offer 1-2-1 live chats with counsellors and support via email.
· Meic – they have an online chat as well as their phoneline but it’s fairly general in scope, so they might refer or signpost young people elsewhere for more comprehensive support.