Ashland Schools Message: Aidan Ellison

Students, Families and members of the Ashland School Community,

Our hearts ache over the senseless death on November 23rd of a Grizzly, Aidan Ellison.  Aidan attended AHS for a brief time and made a lasting impression among those who knew him.  Our thoughts are with Aiden’s family. We grieve with his mother, Andrea, and brother, Anders.  Anders also attended AHS. 

While the details of the investigation into this incident are not public, many members of the school community are struggling to reconcile how this happened with their direct experiences of the individuals involved.  Both the victim and the man charged with the shooting have ties to our school community.

The killing of any 19-year-old is a particular tragedy.  The fact that Aidan was a young Black man adds even greater heartache to an open wound in our community and country.  As families and people who care for our kids, we are challenged to help them make sense of a situation where none can be made.  As individuals that recognize and/or experience the effects of racism, bias and systemic injustice, we must continue to ask the difficult and necessary questions.  We must work to heal our collective path and move together towards a just future for all.  Ashland School District remains committed to this future.

The man charged with the shooting was a volunteer at one of our schools.  All of our volunteers go through comprehensive background checks based on their driver’s license and social security number.  When there is an indicator of concern in a volunteer background check, the eligibility to volunteer is reviewed by administration and the opportunity to volunteer may be denied.

We are providing supports and resources to our students and staff at the school sites directly affected.  Below are some resources for parents to talk about this incident with your children including coping with tragedy, racism and bias.  If this tragic event directly affected your child and you need additional guidance on supporting them, please reach out to your school principal or counselor.
NASSP Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers
Guidance for Families and Educators When Responding to Racial Incidents 
Samuel Bogdanove
Ashland Public Schools
Pronouns: He, Him, His

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