Woman rallies support for Perry Local Schools after recent student suicides

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PERRY TOWNSHIP, Ohio-- Amaris Simonson says following the suicides of six present and former students from the Perry Local School District in Stark County, she felt there was something she could do.

Realizing that teachers and administrators in the district had become the target of brutal social media commentary, she set out to show them that there are far more in the community who support them.

"You know, with everything going on and so many people on social media talking, there really are tons and tons of my friends and different people that wanted to jump in and do something just nice," Simonson said.

Through her own social media account, Simonson set out to raise money to deliver doughnuts to teachers and administrators in each of the Perry schools.

"We have got a lot of support. A lot of people have reached out offering help, offering support, thoughts, prayers, wishes. Different schools, different organizations. The church community has reached out to us as well. It has been very positive, very supportive of the school," Simonson said.

On Wednesday, Simonson and two friends delivered 70 dozen doughnuts and more than 400 cards to schools in the district, as well as fire and police departments.

"They are hurting and this is hard for them. And you know, you have people saying negative things about them and so a majority of us, we love Perry, you know," she said.

Counselors have been working with grieving students to try and help them cope with the losses, while police have been working to determine if there is a common thread. Police told FOX 8 News they have no reason to suspect bullying was to blame.

"I mean, this is a difficult time and the students struggle through this, and so does the staff. And so to have somebody to come in and offer their support in this type of way, we very much appreciate it," said Jason Conrad, Perry High School principal.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-273-8255 to provide free and confidential support.

Continuing coverage here

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