In time of tragedy, Middletown schools finds outpouring of support

Neighboring districts have rallied in the wake of James Hutchinson’s death

Nearby districts offer assistance to mourning Middletown schools

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Students and staff at Middletown City Schools continue to mourn the loss of Rosa Park Elementary first-grader James Hutchinson.

Hutchinson’s mother and her boyfriend await their preliminary hearings in the 6-year-old’s death. Authorities say boy’s mother murdered him on Saturday. She has claimed she was pressured to do so by her boyfriend. A search for Hutchinson’s body in the Ohio River has been hampered by high waters.

Meanwhile, nearby school districts, some with tragic histories of their own, are offering a helping hand during this difficult time.

“Our hearts just break for our Middletown neighbors, who are really just processing something that is unimaginable,” Tracey Carson with Mason City Schools said.

Shortly after news of Hutchinson’s death broke, Mason schools sent their therapy dogs to their suffering Middletown counterparts.

“Sadly, because of our district’s own experience with tragedies — nothing quite like what they’re dealing with there, but with young students trying to process their own feelings — we’ve found that the therapy dogs make such a difference,” Carson said.

Elizabeth Beadle is with Middletown City Schools.

“The outpouring of love, support, help from just everyone, has been a little overwhelming,” Beadle said. “It just goes to show you how close educators are and how much we collaborate together and we are all are working for our kids.”

Beadle adds Kings Local Schools also offered to send therapy dogs, and other districts, such as Lakota Schools, have reached out to offer their support.

“Our hearts ache,” Carson said, “just because we sit there and we look at the little faces who are counting on us to be there for them and in situations like this and situations we’ve dealt with, there are no answers.”

“That’s how we’re holding up,” Beadle said. “It’s with the kids and their bright light and their bright joy that they smile and shine on us.”

Middletown students were remote Wednesday, but Mason’s therapy dog will be back at Rosa Parks Elementary on Thursday.

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