NNHS grieving again after third student death in 2017

A 15-year-old Naperville North boy died suddenly Tuesday night, the third untimely student death to strike NNHS in 2017.

The Naperville North community learned of the death through an email sent to parents Wednesday morning. Classrooms appeared emptier today as some students went home or to Student Services.

According to Lisle Deputy Police Chief Ron Wilke, the death of the 15-year-old student occurred around 10 p.m. in Lisle. Wilke said the Lisle Police would not publicly confirm the cause of the boy’s death.

Principal Stephanie Posey had NNHS staff members read an announcement to students first period informing them of the death of a male sophomore.

“Our number one concern is that family, and how we can support that family,” Posey said. “More importantly, how we can support our family here in the building.”

After the second 2017 student death in April, the following day’s First Class period was a time of reflection, a building-wide soul search in the hours of grief. NNHS Huskies seem to have had no break from tragedy, especially after the Chicago Tribune published a story in May detailing the lawsuit surrounding a junior boy’s death in January. Still this fall at Monday’s District 203 school board meeting, a group of parents questioned NNHS’ handling of the boy in a discipline issue.

Posey believes that the many events of last year made the Huskie family grow stronger. However, Wednesday’s news still came as a blow.

“I think that this is a very resilient group of students, remarkably so,” Posey said. “They are very thoughtful and caring about one another. I also think that this student body… [is] still grieving. And that is certainly evident today as well. But we will get through.”

Some teachers worked to demonstrate their empathy for the student body by talking with their classes about the death. Nicole Garrett, NNHS junior, believed the discussions teachers had with students were beneficial.

“In my fifth period class we had a whole class discussion, and everyone was sharing their feelings and different things that have happened to them,” Garrett said.

Posey said NNHS will always have resources such as social workers and counselors to help students struggling with tragedies.

If you or someone you know is in need of help, call the 24/7 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or the DuPage County Health Department Crisis Intervention Unit 24-hour hotline at 630-627-1700.


Hannah Jorstad, Maddie Krebs, and Elise Mulligan contributed to this report