FARMINGTON — A Kirtland Central High School student died in Shiprock recently, one of several recent events that prompted the school to send a letter to parents telling them to be aware of activity on social networking sites.
The letter informed parents of the death and several other incidents that have happened at the school recently. Little information was available about the student's death. The district declined to release his name.
“The District's prayers are with the late student's family, friends, students, staff, and community, during this very difficult time of extreme sorrow and grief,” Central Consolidated School District Superintendent Don Levinski said in a prepared statement.
Navajo Nation police in Shiprock did not return calls for comment and public safety officials for the tribe declined to release information on the death.
“His passing has left a void in our school and created an atmosphere of grief,” Principal Shawna Becenti and other administrators wrote in a letter to parents on Wednesday. “The details of his death have not been confirmed, but are being investigated by the Navajo police.”
The letter, dated Oct. 3, goes on to say that several other incidents have occurred at the school in recent days which has prompted the school to hold staff meetings and school assemblies. School administrators asked parents to refrain from spreading rumors and “engaging in malicious content on Facebook.”
Beth Utley, a spokeswoman for the San Juan County Sheriff's Office, said deputies responded to the school because of a fight among students earlier this week.
In recent weeks, there have been several reports of fights at the high school between freshmen and upperclassman, Utley said. The fighting has escalated into several verbal threats made between students.
Deputies have tried to investigate the threats and make contact with the students and their parents, Utley said.
The sheriff's office didn't have any information on the dead student and was not aware of any link between the death and the fighting.