Counselors console students and faculty in wake of fire deaths - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Counselors console students and faculty in wake of fire deaths


A crisis team of grief counselors spent a second day helping students and faculty absorb a wide range of emotions following the deaths of a pair of popular Sioux City Community School District employees.

The bodies of Susan and Stephen Smid, both 58 years old, were discovered by a family member inside their Riverside home early Thursday morning.  Authorities say they were the victims of smoke inhalation linked to a fire that broke out on their kitchen stove.

Susan Smid was a beloved music teacher at Liberty Elementary.  She taught music for the District over the past 16 years.  Her husband Stephen had worked for the District's Food Service Department.
Friday, the School District's Head Counselor said parents can help their children by using age-appropriate language and simply listening.

"Just allowing them to have feelings.  Confirming to them, letting them know that it's okay to be upset, it's okay to cry, it's okay to be mad, it's okay to be confused.  All of these feelings that they're having, it's okay to have,"  said Jennifer Gomez.

Gomez adds nobody is in the wrong for not being upset or for not being upset enough.  She also said some students are coping with their feelings by talking about the good times as well as writing out a letter or drawing a picture.

There will be a memorial service for the Smid's this Monday night, August 26 at 6:00 p.m. inside the Meyer Brothers Colonial Chapel in Sioux City.  That's located at 3220 Stone Park Boulevard.  A visitation will be held from 3:00 until 6:00 p.m.

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