10-year-old student dies after falling ill at school

April 03, 2008|By Brent Jones | Brent Jones,Sun reporter

A 10-year-old Halstead Academy student died yesterday afternoon after he fell ill at the Baltimore County public school.

The fourth-grader, whom police and schools officials have not identified, had trouble breathing about 2 p.m. and was taken by ambulance to Good Samaritan Hospital, county police said. He was pronounced dead shortly after arrival, police said.

The Halstead Academy of Science and the Arts is in the Hillendale community, just north of the city line and east of Loch Raven Boulevard.

Kara E. Calder, a Baltimore County schools spokeswoman, said students' parents were alerted of the child's death by an automated phone message from the school principal, Jill A. Carter.

Carter assured parents in the message that the circumstances surrounding the death posed no health concerns for others students.

"It's very sad and unfortunate," Calder said. "But we've been told it's an unusual and isolated incident."

Because of the child's age, police are investigating. A police spokesman said there was no early indication of foul play.

Schools officials say extra counselors and a traumatic loss team will be available to students today.

Halstead Academy students will not have to continue with state-mandated tests this week. State education officials are allowing the school to postpone the Maryland School Assessments, Calder said. A makeup date has not been decided.

brent.jones@baltsun.com

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