Remembering Brianna: USD 259 helps students grieve the loss of a teen who died trying to escape a stolen car


WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – KSN News is learning more about the 13-year old Wichita girl who was killed Saturday after she tried to escape a stolen car.

Brianna Ibarra’s family said this tragedy has been extremely difficult for everyone, especially her mom and dad.

Ibarra’s family says the 13-year-old middle school student was their angel.

The Wichita Public School District offering support to Brianna’s friends and classmates.

“Still kinda shock processing trying to understand trying to make sense empathy sympathy,” said Stephanie Anderson, USD 259 school counselor coordinator.

Anderson said the district is working to offer support for the many students and staff impacted by Brianna Ibarra’s sudden passing.

“Having some extra helping hands and just bringing a calmness to what might be a frantic situation or extremely distraught and so just having other folks in the building to help students process helping adults as well,” said Anderson.

Anderson said while their grief crisis team has been around for a while, the virtual landscape of the pandemic makes it challenging to provide support.

“This is making it a lot more difficult because often time the things people need is a hug a hand pat or just a hand of the shoulder so the virtual piece has been a little more tricky,” said Anderson.

Students who are not in school will have access to video chats with counselors. The district said they are thinking of the family too.

“We give them their personal space out of respect but offer up multiple options for outside resources as well as wanting to give our own personal self,” Anderson said.

Anderson said one of the ways to help children cope with the loss is to continue their routine and keep them busy. She said it’s been a hard day for many at Ibarra’s middle school.

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