Iowa students discover body while on field trip in Palisades State Park

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MOUNT VERNON, Ia.  – Some Mount Vernon high school students were at Palisades – Kepler State Park this past Friday, when they came across a body along a walking trail.

Now the school is providing counseling for everyone involved in the incident.

The school district’s superintendent says it was a digital photography class that was on the field trip. When the students discovered the body, they called 911 right away.

Superintendent Dr. Greg Batenhorst says, “This was a traumatic event for the kids that were involved, and immediately upon hearing about the incident, our high school principal and our guidance counselor responded to the scene and spoke with the kids.”

He adds that counseling was available the day of the incident, this past weekend, and it is still available for as long as the students need.

“Today I understand that several individuals sought out support just to kind of process the issue because they were still struggling a bit with what they witnessed,” he says.

The school sent out a letter, notifying all parents and staff in the school district. In the letter, the superintendent says the students and staff have been commended for handling this situation with poise and maturity.

If anyone hears any rumors related to this incident, they are to contact the superintendent right away.

According to a press release, “The Linn County Sheriff’s Office, Linn County Sheriff’s Rescue, Mt Vernon Police Department, Lisbon Police Department, Cedar Rapids Police Department, Mt Vernon Fire Department, Lisbon Mt Vernon Ambulance, Area Ambulance Service, Linn County Conservation and the Linn County Medical Examiner’s Office all responded to the incident.”

The death has been ruled a suicide.

Amanda Gilbert

Amanda Gilbert

Multimedia Journalist
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