BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District is offering grief counseling for students and others following the death Saturday of 16-year-old student Francine Wang.
Wang, a high school junior, was found dead late Saturday night in Chimney Rock Park after she was reported missing around 2 a.m. that day.
Township police say their the investigation has not yielded anything suspicious regarding the manner of death, and there is no threat to the community. The investigation is continuing, and police have requested that the family's privacy be respected.
School Superintendent Russell Lazovick posted a message to the community to share the tragic news:
Dear Members of the Bridgewater-Raritan School Community,
I am sorry to have to share with you the tragic news that one of our BRHS juniors passed away Saturday. Our thoughts are with the student’s family and friends and with everyone affected by this loss.
Guidance counselors and other trained professionals will be available at the school and across the district to provide support for both students and adults.
The loss of a student impacts our entire community. We understand that this event will affect people differently. Should you, your children, or anyone you know need assistance, the resources of both the district and the larger Somerset County community are available to you. We have provided a list of resources here and on our main web page.
Russell M. Lazovick
Schools will continue to operate as scheduled, according to the school district website, and services and resources will be available for students in need at each building throughout and beyond the school day. In addition, guidance counselors and other trained professionals will be available at the schools to provide support for students and adults.
At the high school, those needing support can call the school counseling office at 908-231-8660, ext. 2211; the child study team office at 908-231-8660, ext. 2158; or Dr. James Porter, mental health counselor, at 908-231-8660, ext. 2241.
More information about grief resources can be found on the district website at brrsd.org.
A message on the school district website stresses the importance of respecting the privacy of the family and that students need to be reminded both at school and at home of the dangers of hearsay and being responsible when sharing information.
Students should remember, the message said, that when they read or hear something, it is not automatically true, and it is important to teach the dangers of social media and how information can reach a wide audience in seconds.
"We need to teach that we all have a responsibility to effectively verify information before spreading it as fact," the message said.