School community accepts tragedy - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

School community accepts tragedy

Four-year-old Austin Hayslip Four-year-old Austin Hayslip
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September 22, 2004

Albany-- Today, pre-K students are trying to understand why their classmate had to die.

Four-year-old Austin Hayslip was at school when his police officer dad shot his mother, shot and killed him, and then committed suicide.

We were told some of his best friends are extremely upset, but they still came to school today.

This morning, parents brought their children back to school. Some are with the Pre-K program, where Hayslip was a student and some are in the gifted programs.

Most parents said they feel safe, that this was an isolated incident and we broke the news to some parents who didn't know about the shooting.

The important thing for the kids, counselors say, is to deal gently but frankly with their concerns, but not to overdo the issue. Words like 'death', 'died', and 'killed' are not taboo because they are truthful.

posted at 12:45PM by dave.miller@walb.com