How to Deal With Tragedy

Eldorado High School gathered together to take this photo in support of Kraemer Middle School.

Anjeli Webb and Lancy Shi

Recently, a shocking tragedy occurred on the campus of Kraemer Middle School in Placentia. Beloved Assistant Principal Moises Plascencia took his life on March 14th, 2022. This news shocked the entire school district, as well as everyone that came across the story which made national news.

Various movements in sympathetic and empathetic support of Mr. Plascencia’s family as well as the Kraemer Middle School Cub family were made. Additionally, the entire PYLUSD community wore blue and gold on Wednesday, March 16th with loving solidarity and unity during this uncertain time. Former Kraemer Student Abigail Lee (10) says “I am saddened to hear about Mr. Plascencia’s passing. He was an extremely influential person in our middle school lives.”

When unexpected tragedies like this happen, many people have different ways of finding closure. Regarding emotional and mental health support for the many affected, Kraemer Principal Mr. Michael Young, released in a statement, “The Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District’s (PYLUSD) team of highly qualified mental health professionals will be on campus to serve and support students, staff, and families” ( It is clear to see that what PYLUSD did was extremely helpful because support from others makes the grieving process feel less daunting and lonely. There are countless widely accepted ways to move on, and it is important for our youth to be aware of these methods if tragedy happens again.

First and foremost, it is essential for individuals to have some alone time to process the bitter information. Even though some people are very extroverted and prefer being surrounded by loved ones, it is still a good idea to at least spend some solitary time reflecting on the loss and then reaching out to others.

Some may find this process difficult as social events are a coping mechanism for them to ignore their current problems, but this is the most crucial step to getting over the denial phase in the five stages of grief. While reflecting, many go over their memories with the specific loved one; as time moves on, the memory becomes less and less sad, which will lead to ultimate acceptance.

After a little bit of self-reflection, it is important to seek others’ support. To some, this takes months, and for others only a few days. It is important to know that no matter how long it takes for one to open up, their time spent is valid and they should be proud of themselves for speaking out to others. Countless people will prefer to rant to their family and friends about what happened, while others might stick to online browsing and communication. Regardless, opening up will let people know that they are not alone in this and that their loved ones are there to guide and support them when they are in need.

A third part of finding closure is being the support for someone in their time of need. When someone is called upon to be the counselor, best friend, and confidant, they must be sure to do their best to be there for the affected and keep them motivated to carry on. To do this effectively, people can run errands or assist with daily household chores that need to be completed. Since the grieving person needs to spend a good amount of energy working to get through daily life, it is usually welcome for others to take on part of the load and ease them into life after loss.

Ultimately, there are countless ways to come to terms with loss, and everybody has their own unique way of doing so. Depending on their personality type, they might cope by being with others, or make it into a more individual journey. Friends close to someone dealing with the loss of a loved one also play a paramount role in helping the affected move on. If someone is designated the duty to assist the mourner, the best thing that they can do to support them is to simply be available. As it pertains to recent events, the PYLUSD community will celebrate the life and mourn the loss of a wonderful, dedicated, and influential Assistant Principal. Mr. Plascencia will be remembered fondly in the hearts of students, staff, and families.