After Ridgeway Disappearance, Jeffco Schools Offers Counselors
WESTMINSTER, Colo. (CBS4) – Extra counselors are on hand at Witt Elementary School Monday after the disappearance of their students, 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway.
“Today we have a crew of counselors and crisis support folks from all across the district who are here to talk to kids or parents or teachers and support the teachers as they walk through their day,” Superintendent Cindy Stevenson told CBS4.
Stevenson said district officials met with faculty at the Westminster school on Sunday to address the disappearance. Though many questions will have to go unanswered at this point, Stevenson said staff will be as honest as they can about the case with students.
“We are all thinking about Jessica,” Stevenson said. “We have a missing child and the police in the Denver metro area are working on this. It’s a continuing investigation so we’re being very cautious at this point.”
Ridgeway went missing Friday morning in Westminster while walking to school and an Amber Alert went out that evening about her disappearance.
Westminster Police Ridgeway Case Tip Line: (303) 658-4336
“Anybody with children will understand that it’s a frightening situation because we don’t know what happened and we’re all just hoping that it’s going to have a happy ending,” Jefferson County Schools spokeswoman Lynn Setzer said. “We try to help our students and parents and teachers in any way we can when you’re coping with something so unknown and it’s difficult.”
Several parents brought their children to Witt School early on Monday. That included Erin Hegarty, who lives near Ridgeway’s house.
“This really hits home because the area where she disappeared from is right at the end of our street and she lives very close to us, and those could have been my kids.
Hegarty said “her heart goes out” to the family of the girl.
“This is really a parent’s worst nightmare,” she said.
Setzer said additional counselors will be available for other schools in the district if there’s a need.
Anyone who has any information about the case is asked to contact Westminster police.