Students returned to class Monday at Livingston High School. Black ribbons were hung on doors throughout the campus in memory of teacher, Starrick Gray, who was shot and killed Jan. 20.
"If any of you need to see a grief counselor, please notify the office," came an announcement over the school's speaker system.
Faculty, staff and students are trying to cope with the tragic loss of one of their own.
A 32-year-old special education teacher, Gray was gunned down just outside the building Wednesday, allegedly by her husband, Telvin Gray. He remained in the Sumter County Jail Monday, charged with murder.
As the school reopened, about a dozen counselors with Alabama Mental Health, UWA's counseling program and from other schools within the district were on hand to help.
"We asked students if they wanted to speak to someone. It didn't have to be a counselor; it could be a teacher or someone like that," said superintendent Dr. Fred Primm. "The response has been wonderful. It has been good. The students have responded well. Of course, with employees, when you have a situation like this, some may take it probably worse than others."
That's why Primm says the district is providing information for all at the school who might need to contact a counselor outside campus.
"We encourage parents to talk to their students and make sure everything is fine," said Primm. "If for some reason they think something is out of the ordinary then they need to contact some of these agencies like: Alabama Mental Health or the University of West Alabama's Counseling program."
Primm says counselors will remain on the campus as long as they are needed.
"One of the things that we're just trying to communicate is that we're going to move from this event and celebrate life and legacy and use it as leverage, as a spring board, to do some successful things at the school," Primm said.
A memorial service for Starrick Gray will be held Tuesday at 5 p.m. at the Livingston High School auditorium.