Students, teachers cope with tragic news in Delphi

Delphi schools superintendent (Wednesday Sunrise interview)
Delphi investigation School response
Delphi investigation Schools response
Delphi investigation Emily Longnecker
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DELPHI, Ind. (WTHR) - The superintendent of Delphi schools is trying to help his district cope with what may be devastating news.

Teachers and students in the Delphi Community School Corporation started Tuesday hoping eighth graders Abby Williams and Libby German would be found safe, but shortly after noon, word spread of news no one wanted to hear.

While school and law enforcement officials say they cannot officially confirm the two bodies found were of the two girls, Superintendent Gregory Briles said in a statement late Tuesday "it is our understanding" the bodies are those of the missing teenagers.

Briles gathered his staff Tuesday afternoon to discuss the news.

"It's tough. Any kind of situation like this, you learn to cope with it, but they don't teach you how to deal with this in superintendent school and they don't teach you how to deal with it at principal school or teaching school or anything like that, you kind of lean on those who have had similar experiences in the past...and you keep leaning," Briles said.

Briles said counselors were at the school Tuesday and will be there the rest of the week for those who need them.

"Our parents are going to have to go to work tomorrow and I don't think parents are going to leave their children home by themselves in this situation, so we will take every necessary precaution to make sure that they're safe to and from school and at school while they're here," Briles said.

He also said all school buildings in the district will be on a "soft lockdown," with all doors locked and monitoring of who comes and goes into the school buildings. The district says they already do that, but feel compelled to monitor even more closely with the investigation ongoing.

Full statement from Delphi Community Schools Supt. Gregory Briles:

"It is with heavy hearts that the school corporation day comes to an end. It is our understanding that the two bodies found today are believed to of our 2 missing Delphi Community Middle School students.

The Delphi Community School Corporation will continue operating on a regular schedule Wednesday February 15, 2017. We will be providing transportation to all students to and from school. We feel that in the best interest and safety of the students, a regular schedule is best. We will have the services of the local schools and their counselors available for the students and staff, as well as Local Grief Counselors, Wabash Valley Counseling Center Staff, Department of Child Services, Local Pastors and Ministers will be on hand to assist students through a very difficult situation.

The Delphi United Methodist Church will open their doors to the community for support this evening at 7 p.m.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to both families and those who are mourning the loss of these two young individuals as well as the individuals that spent the last 24 hours assisting in the search."