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Grief Counselors Help Students Cope with Madison County Boy's Death

October 28, 2013

The Madison County community is coping with loss this week after a 12-year-old boy died over the weekend in an accidental shooting.

"It's always a difficult topic for all students, but middle-school students especially," said Nicholas Curtis, the psychologist for the Madison County school division.

The Madison County Sheriff's Office said 12-year-old Dax Dixon died on Fairground Road Saturday. He was killed by a gunshot wound, but authorities call it an accident. Dax was a student at Wetsel Middle School.

Grief counselors were on hand at the school Monday for those who wanted to talk.

"Students were able to come down and talk with somebody who was able to lead them through how to process their emotions," Curtis said. "A lot of times, they don't have the skill set needed to process this like an adult may have."

In addition to school staff, 12 others from surrounding school divisions helped out to provide psychologists, counselors and ministers.

"Some students just need someone to talk to, someone to process their emotions with -- 'This is how I'm feeling. I need someone else to know how I'm feeling,'" Curtis said.

Staff keeps a list of all students who seek guidance and follows up on them throughout the year. Teachers also keep an eye on students who don't actively look for someone to talk to but still may need the counseling services.

"It is a very tough situation, but we're all going to help each other through it," Curtis said.

Counselors will also be available at school on Tuesday.

The sheriff's office says the investigation is ongoing but had no further details to provide on Monday.

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