SPRINGFIELD, Mo. The mementos lining the playground fence at Campbell Elementary School in Springfield may be a bit water-logged following the rain, but the solidarity they represent remains powerful.
"We're all a community, and this school is so little, so we know all the teachers. We know all the students. I see all the parents every single day," said Tiffany Childress, a Campbell parent.
Campbell families continue to the crash site to pay respects to one of their own, ten-year-old Riddick Tudor, who lost his life when an SUV crashed into him and other walkers on the sidewalk Monday. Even families from other schools felt compelled to visit.
"A a community, we need to reach out, and we need to help the family, because nobody prepares for their child to not come home from school," Michael Chiera, a parent from another school, said.
While extra counselors have been on hand, grief experts say the process will take time.
"If children know about it, because they heard it on the news or have seen it at school, absolutely parents need to be talking to them about it," said Dr. Karen Scott of the Lost & Found Grief Center in Springfield.
Scott said that means reassuring our children, helping them understand sadness, and talking through how we try to stay safe.
"For those children who knew that little boy, they need to do things to honor his memory, so you're moving them forward in a more positive way rather than parking on the sadness and tragedy of it," Dr. Scott said.
Police are still investigating the event as a fatality crash. Right now they said they have no reason to believe it was intentional, but they said the complete investigation could take weeks or even months.
If you would like to seek professional help for your child, you can contact the counselor at his or her school.
For more information about the Lost & Found Grief Center, where they provide grief support services for children and young adults at no charge, you can visit their website: http://www.lostandfoundozarks.com/