OTTAWA — Ottawa Elementary and Ottawa-Glandorf High Schools have taken steps to assist as students and faculty deal with the death of two students.
Following a search for three missing Ottawa boys, the bodies of Blaine Romes, 14, and Blake Romes, 17, were found in Putnam County Thursday evening. The third boy, Michael Aaron Fay, was taken into custody in Columbus early Thursday afternoon. An Amber Alert was issued for them earlier that day.
Ottawa-Glandorf Superintendent Kevin Brinkman said they had counselors at the school all day Friday.
“Things are going fairly well at both buildings,” Brinkman said. “I’m amazed at the kids and faculty and the way they can handle things.”
Brinkman said he brought in four counselors from Putnam County Educational Service Center office and Pathways.
“We first met with the faculty at the start of the day to update them on everything and help them be prepared,” Brinkman said.
High school principal Jayson Selgo learned the teens’ bodies were found just as the high school’s musical was about to go on, Brinkman said. The principal had the students turn off their cellphones.
“Obviously, he didn’t want the students learning this kind of news just before going on stage,” Brinkman said.
After the show finished, staff gathered the cast and crew and broke the news.
Classmates of Blaine Romes are on a trip in Washington D.C, and staff gathered the students Thursday night to share the news as well, Brinkman said.
“They made a decision to continue with the tour and trip,” he said. “The teachers and chaperones are talking to the students and helping them through this.”
Brinkman said, as of Friday, no special services are planned at the school.
“That would be up to the family if they want one,” he said.
A posting on the school website states, “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Blake and Blaine. We ask that you respect the students and staff; and only take statements from the designated authorities. Again we ask for your prayers for the families and local community.”
A Facebook page has been created in memoriam of the teens. Started Friday, it is titled “In memory of Blake and Blaine Romes” and is a place to express sorrow to those closely involved.
Another outlet for those who may be interested is a memorial fund. It has been established by extended family members to help with funeral and burial expenses for the teens. Donations may be made at any Huntington Bank location or mailed to Romes Memorial Fund, PO Box 13, Leipsic OH 45856. Write the check to “Romes Memorial Fund.”