McLouth Superintendent's Statement on Justin Johnston

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McLOUTH -- This is the statement issued Thursday by McLouth Superintendent Steve Splichal

"Along with me is McLouth Board of Education President Andy Sullivan. We are saddened to be here today to confirm that McLouth High School student Justin Johnston passed away early this morning while on a school trip to Costa Rica. Justin was a McLouth High School student who was about to enter his junior year.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Johnston family, as well as the many students, staff and families who are affected by this tragedy.

Justin was on a nine-day trip with 12 students and two district sponsors. The students were traveling with the school’s Spanish Club and they had arrived in Costa Rica on Monday. The trip was arranged through EF Educational Tours which is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Specific details regarding the incident cannot be released as they are still under investigation.

No other students were injured. I have met with the families of these students and assured them that the safety and security of their children and the sponsors is imperative to the school district. We are working with EF Educational Tours to make travel arrangements for an early arrival home. The original arrival date was scheduled for Tuesday, June 7. EF Educational Tours has made counselors available to the students and sponsors today.

Our crisis plan has been activated and counselors have been available on site today for students, staff and families and will be for as long as they are needed.

In addition, we would like to thank Senator Jerry Moran’s office for their support and assistance with international communications. We ask that you respect the privacy of the Johnston family and entire community during this very difficult time."