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Sandwich High School mourns sudden death of student

SANDWICH – Hundreds of students and staff from Sandwich High School released balloons Wednesday morning at the school in memory of a student who died suddenly.

Sandwich High School principal Tom Sodaro said he was notified about the death of student Madison Mall, a senior at the school, the day before. He said a couple hundred students, mostly upperclassmen, released the blue and yellow balloons about 7:30 a.m. in the high school parking lot.

“Any time we lose a student, it’s tragic,” Sodaro said.

Sodaro’s comments come after an email was sent to Sandwich High School parents and guardians Wednesday morning about the sudden death of Mall. According to the email, the high school would have counselors available to assist students and staff and asked recipients to keep the Mall’s family in their thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

Tim Gipe, assistant principal and athletic director for Sandwich High School, said it’s been hard for students, staff and faculty to cope with Mall’s death. He said the community is going to need lots of thoughts and prayers as they deal with this and that he appreciates everybody reaching out to the community.

“It was a good thing,” Gipe said of the balloon release memorial event for Mall. “Our kids did good job organizing it and it was nice.”

DeKalb County Coroner Dennis Miller confirmed that Mall died Tuesday afternoon at Northwestern Medicine Valley West Hospital in Sandwich. He said she was 17 at the time of her death.

Miller said coroner staff finished the autopsy on Wednesday and there is no official cause of death at this time. He said Mall’s death does not appear to be accidental in nature.

“No foul play is suspected,” Miller said.

Sodaro said students and staff still are mourning the loss of Mall, with social workers working in two rooms for people to grieve in at the school. He said there were four social workers on school grounds Wednesday afternoon.

“We will continue that for as long as it’s needed,” Sodaro said.

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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