Sonoma Academy staff help students cope after suicide

  • Charlotte Molinari, 15 year old girl missing in Santa Rosa.

Students at Sonoma Academy in Santa Rosa talked about grief, depression and suicide Monday, their first day back at school since the body of a classmate was found in Annadel State Park.

Charlotte Ann Molinari, 15, a musician, athlete and sophomore at the private high school, was found Friday evening one week after she disappeared from her west Santa Rosa home.

The teen had ridden her bike to the east Santa Rosa state park and hanged herself.

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"This is another rough day," said Janet Durgin, head of the school. "We've been very present with our students all morning long."

Counselors and therapy dogs joined the 240 students for grief counseling, support and special group sessions. Students and staff were experiencing a range of emotions, mostly shock and great sadness, said Durgin.

One student told a school official "she just felt she should be able to walk around the corner and see Charlotte," said Ellie Dwight, assistant head of school.

Poster boards and markers were available for students to write down thoughts or memories of their classmate.

Charlotte's parents, John Molinari of Santa Rosa and Colleen Fernald of Sebastopol, will be given a book of the artwork and writings.

School officials Monday also addressed the subject of teen suicide.

Counselors emphasized to students that they aren't facing the issues of their lives alone. Instead, they reminded the teens they belong to numerous communities where they can seek help.

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