Stone Mountain High community mourns beloved economics teacherOzzie Harrell Jr. Photo provided by DeKalb County Schools.
Stone Mountain, GA — Ozzie Harrell Jr., a beloved economics teacher and senior class sponsor, passed away unexpectedly on Sept. 9, according to a letter sent to the school community.
He was 36. The cause of death was not disclosed.
“As an economics teacher and senior class sponsor, he was adored by his students,” Principal M. Sean Costa wrote. “His colleagues respected and admired him for his professionalism, compassion, and enthusiasm for helping young people achieve their dreams.”
Costa said the loss is “hitting the Stone Mountain High Community hard.”
“As we continue to come to grips with this news, we are mindful of the gravity of the situation and have shared the news with all our teachers and staff earlier today,” Costa wrote. “On Monday, our District Crisis Teams and other resources will be on-site to provide support to anyone affected by this tragedy. Additional school counselors, psychologists, and staff will be available throughout the week to offer grief counseling.”
The news about Harrell’s death comes after a Labor Day crash resulted in the deaths of three Lakeside High students.
“Everyone experiences grief differently, and our priority is to respect each other’s emotions and feelings. It is natural to feel sad and mourn,” Costa wrote regarding Harrell’s death. “We encourage you to talk to your child about this incident to help them express their thoughts and feelings. If you have any concerns about your child’s response to this tragedy, please get in touch with the school’s administrative or guidance teams.”
His letter concludes by saying that the school community will “come together to comfort each other as we mourn the loss of this exceptional individual.”
“Thank you for your unwavering support of our school and the individuals, such as Mr. Harrell, who selflessly devote themselves to our students and their successes,” Costa wrote.
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