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Letters to the Editor

Thinking about Kobe Bryant

I was 15 when President Kennedy was killed in 1963. Five years later, Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy were gunned down within months of each other. 

I remember a friend calling me with the news about John Lennon in 1980, and who can ever forget Michael Jackson or Whitney Houston?

Cultural icons often are lost at an early age, leaving us to wonder what if?

The same was true Sunday when the news about Kobe Bryant was announced. When we first met him, Bryant was a boy in a man’s body. When he suddenly left us, he no longer was a sports superstar. At 41, he was a talented legend with an eye to the future.

I was shocked when I heard the news about the president, just as I was shocked when I heard the news about Lennon, Jackson and Houston. 

Maybe because I’m 71 now, I was stunned more than shocked when I heard the reports about Kobe. It literally took minutes for the news to sink in. When it finally did, all I could think of was what if? 

Sadly, I guess we never will know.

RIP Kobe. You were more than guy with a ball. You always will be remembered as a bright light on the horizon.

Denny Freidenrich

Laguna Beach     

School district personnel available to help with the impacts of the losses

We are deeply saddened to share with you that our school community has been impacted by a tragic helicopter accident this weekend that claimed the lives of one of our students, her parents, and a former student. 

Given the high profile nature of this tragedy that is impacting our community, I want to assure you that we stand ready to support you however we can.

Everyone experiences grief differently, some may feel confused, angry, sad, frustrated and lonely. We ask that you please help your child talk through their feelings and direct them to available supports and resources. 

Our District’s Crisis Response Team (CRT), which consists of counselors, psychologists, social workers and additional specialized staff were at various schools yesterday to provide social-emotional support to students and staff during this difficult time. The CRT will remain at schools as long as needed. Do not hesitate to reach out to your school principals, counselor or psychologist if you need additional support and resources. Visit the link below for a suggested resource. 

When Grief/Loss Hits Close to Home: Tips for Caregivers

Let’s join together to support each other and all the families and friends who have suffered this great loss. 

Dr. Frederick Navarro

Superintendent

Newport-Mesa Unified School District