Counselors on hand at Stillwater Junior High School after student commits suicide

STILLWATER, Okla. - Classes resumed Thursday morning at Stillwater Junior High School just one day after a student took his own life in a crowded hallway.

Thirteen-year-old Cade Poulos, an eighth grader, shot and killed himself just before classes were to begin Wednesday.

Less than 24 hours later, teachers and counselors entered the building well before the sun came up, preparing for a day that would be unlike any other school day.

View pictures from the scene here - http:// bit.ly/ stillwatershooting

Julie Cook, an assistant professor at OSU's College of Education, put together a team of counselors and psychologists.

Cook says it may actually be easier for students to get through the tragedy than some adults in the community.

"For the children, I think kids are resilient and honestly I think that as long as they have each other and are able to socialize with each other, they're going to be doing probably better than some of the adults will," Cook said.

Just like any other day, buses arrived to drop students off Thursday, cars lined the way to and from the junior high and students got out of their parents' cars.

But Wednesday's events still sat heavy on the minds of parents and returning students.

"I heard a big boom and I thought someone had just dropped his books," said Delanie Ayers, an eighth grader.  "I turned around and there was a big mob running and everyone was saying 'Someone got shot, someone got shot!'"

Another student, Caleb Lathe, says he was shocked that it happened in his school.

"I don't like the fact that I'm going to be walking in that area where it happened," he said.

"We talked about, 'you fall off the horse, you get back on,'" said Richard Ayers, Delanie's father. "As tragic as this is for the school and for that family, the reality is you'll be surprised how quickly things get back to normal."

Lori Lathe, Caleb's mother, says she just wants things to return to normalcy for her son.

"I don't want him to be afraid to go to school all the time," she said. "I don't want him to think that this is the norm or that he has to think about it all the time, but that it does happen and this is a crazy world and terrible things do happen."

Superintendent Ann Caine says claims that Poulos was bullied to the breaking point are false. "We know bullying occurs everywhere but the family reassured us yesterday, that there was no bullying in this instance," she said. "They question why would this happen, he was happy and he had plans for after school."

Stillwater Public Schools has dedicated a portion of its website to the shooting, including a list of counseling services, an incident fact sheet and a letter to parents.

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