Dear LMSD Community,
The past few weeks have been difficult for the Lower Merion School District community. A volunteer firefighter, Sean DeMuynck, died responding to a fire at the home of LMSD students on July 4. A recent alumnus, Layth Evans (LMHS 2019), lost his life to an act of senseless violence on July 10, in the heart of our community near Vernon V. Young Memorial Park. In addition to offering our condolences to the victim's family and friends, we recognize that the alleged perpetrators are LMHS alumni, and that their families and the broader community are also in pain. This past weekend, another firefighter, Tom Royds (HHS 1991), died in the line of duty, responding to an accident on the Schuylkill Expressway. Among the volunteer firefighters seriously injured in that incident were a current LMHS student and another recent alumnus.
The School District offered its facilities for the firefighters' funerals. Members of the Board of School Directors and Administration attended the Community Vigil Against Gun Violence and remembrance of Mr. Evans held in Vernon Park on Sunday, July 18th. The Board also began its July 19 meeting with a moment of silence in his memory.
LMSD regrets, however, that we did not also immediately respond with the offer of counseling for our current students who may be navigating difficult emotions after the shooting in Ardmore, as we did after accident this past weekend. We want to clarify that counselors and administrators will be available at Lower Merion High School this week to offer support to any of our students who have been impacted by these events.
Students who would like to speak with a counselor from the Student Services Department or an administrator are asked to please email Principal Sean Hughes Hughess@lmsd.org, or call 610-645-1819 or 1822. Counselors and administrators will be available to meet with any student in-person, via zoom or by phone this week for support.
The Board and Administration also intend to work with the broader community, on an ongoing basis, to better ensure that youth who are struggling get the support that they need.
President, Lower Merion Board of School Directors
Superintendent, Lower Merion School District