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Gilbert high school students lose a friend

Gilbert high school students lose a friend
Gilbert high school students lose a friend
Tracy Lynn Cook

According to an Email received this morning from Sharon Orr, administrative assistant to Principal Domonic Salce, grief counseling has been available for students troubled by the loss of their classmate, Daniel Mars.

The announcement of the death of Daniel Mars was made on Tuesday, May 3rd by Mr. Salce after counselors went to each of Daniel's teachers, and each of his classes to address students and teachers personally. The rest of the student population heard the announcement over the loud speaker, leaving many stunned and sad with an eerie empty feeling they are not quite sure what to do with.

Highland High School - death of student announced Monday

That feeling of uncertainty and discomfort is something parents need to talk to their teens about. One of Daniel's classmates expressed how weird it was that after Daniel died, people who may not have heard the sad news were still posting messages and updates on his Facebook page.

Now is a superior time for a "mental health checkup" for classmates of this reportedly funny, popular kid no longer passing them in the hallways, or making them smile at lunch. There is a website, Teen Screen Mental Health Checkups that offers local resources for parents dealing with what parents in Gilbert are facing right now.

The resources offered through Highland are available as well.

In an Email message, Sharon Orr relayed the following information:

We had/have a crisis team available - counselors from all over the district. We have counselors available here on campus for students that want to talk with a counselor. Crisis team people went into each of this student's classes - mainly to talk with his classmates. Mr. Salce also met with the student's teachers prior in order to prepare them for what would be going on the next day with the crisis teams coming into classes.

The District has a detailed crisis plan for times such as this. Mr. Salce also does an overall announcement to the students. With this announcement, he offers opportunities for students to meet with counselors. We also have counseling available for our teachers.

If you know of a student that may need to see a counselor at this time, please encourage him/her to go to the Counseling Office. They will be happy to assist. If you have any other questions, feel free to email us.


Arizona Suicide Prevention Center
Arizona Teen Crisis Solutions

Teen Screen Mental Health Checkups

Many thoughts and prayers for the Mars family as they face such an inconceivable loss.


Tracy Lynn Cook is a writer in Gilbert, Arizona. To read more, please visit her blog at, or browse by topic:

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Tracy can be found on and on Twitter @TLCsThoughts.


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