The Examiner

Pleasantville Mourns Death of High School Senior; Cause Not Released

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The Pleasantville School District is in mourning following the death of a student last weekend.

Shane Howe, a 17-year-old senior at Pleasantville High School, died on Saturday, although circumstances surrounding his death are not being released.

According to a representative from the Westchester County medical examiner’s office, the death certificate states that the official cause of death is “pending further study.” It could take upwards of 16 weeks for all tests, including a toxicology report, to be completed, the representative said.

Parents and students were informed of the death on Sunday morning through an e-mail from high school Principal Joe Palumbo. Palumbo stated that the school’s counseling office will remain open throughout the week for students who wish to use the service. Parents with specific concerns about the way their child is handling the death can contact counselors directly.

“It is critical that we provide students with support as they attempt to cope with the loss of a classmate,” Palumbo’s statement read. “It is impossible to make sense of situations like this; however, we will come together as a community to support one another.”

Pleasantville police Lt. Erik Grutzner said that the case is an open investigation. He was unable to provide additional information at this time.

Counseling was also available to students for three hours on Sunday in the Pleasantville High School Media Center, where Howe’s mother works as a library aide. According to Board of Education President Shane McGaffey, several students attended counseling sessions and shared stories and happy memories of their friend.

McGaffey, whose daughter was enrolled in a creative writing class with Howe, referred to the student as “a very talented guy” who was a gifted writer and musician.

A memorial service for Howe will be held this Saturday, Feb. 7 at 2 p.m. at St. John’s Episcopal Church, located at 8 Sunnyside Ave. in Pleasantville. The family asked that donations be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Rehabilitation Services in lieu of flowers.

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