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The Madera Tribune

Community mourns student found dead

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webmaster | 09/13/13

MUSD Superintendent: ‘Madera Unified is grieving for one of its own’

Madera Unified Superintendent Edward Gonzalez addressed a somber audience of school psychologists and staff Thursday morning as he described the apparent heat-related death of Graciela Martinez, a 14-year-old Madera South freshman found dead by her brother on Thursday inside a parked car on campus.

“We hear about heat-related deaths involving infants and small children, but this tragedy underscores that that risk also extends to young adults and even mature adults,” Gonzalez said. “Madera Unified is grieving for one of its own … I would ask the community to put their collective arms around this family as they go through this very dark time.”

All psychologist staff within the district — a little more than a dozen attended the 7:30 a.m. press conference at Madera South High School — were directed by Gonzalez to provide counseling to students and teachers as they cope with the tragedy.

“They’ll be here as long as needed,” said Gonzalez, who told the Tribune he was aware Martinez had several siblings at other Madera-area schools. “We know it will be needed here at Madera South but also at other schools where her siblings attend. We will be prepared to provide support wherever needed.” ...


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