Support services available to community, Highlands students – TribLIVE

IT support and services

Highlands School District will return to in-person classes Wednesday after a day of remote learning that followed the killing of Brackenridge police Chief Justin McIntire.

McIntire was shot Monday afternoon during a manhunt that spanned Harrison, Tarentum and Brackenridge, all Highlands communities.

Tarentum police Officer Jordan Schrecengost also suffered a gunshot wound to the leg during an altercation.

“The district will have counseling services available for any student and staff who may need it,” Superintendent Monique Mawhinney said.

School counselors will be available, along with outside agencies.

Student Service Director Amber Dean said the district is receiving support from the Human Services Administration Organization, Allegheny County Office of Behavioral Health, Family Behavioral Resources and Every Child.

“We are grateful for these partnerships,” she said.

“Our district team will meet daily to review student needs and determine the best next steps to support our school community.”

Anyone who needs support after hours is encouraged to call Resolve Crisis Services, a 24-hour service free to county residents, at 1-888-796-8226.

Mawhinney said the services will be available this week and most likely into next week.

McIntire’s father, Lee, works as a security guard in the district. He also is a retired police officer from Brackenridge.

Second-grade teacher Bill Celko said he is blessed to have been friends with both men.

“Anytime Justin or his father are around, not only did you have that sense of safety but you were also able to talk to them and laugh,” Celko said.

“We are all thinking of Officer ‘Lee Mac’ and Chief Justin’s family.”

Other resources will be available to help console the grieving community.

Allegheny Family Network at 1600 Pacific Ave. in Harrison will offer support services from 2 to 6 p.m. Wednesday.

Selah Bender, captain at the Brackenridge Salvation Army, said she offered her building for a potential vigil this week.

Police from dozens of departments convened until about 2:30 a.m. the night of the shooting, she said.

There also was a large gathering Monday at Pioneer Hose along Morgan Street, where fire volunteers mingled with residents to share their grief.

The area is the scene of one of the police pursuits where gun shots were volleyed between officers and the suspect.

Bender said it was a blessing that school was still on holiday break, otherwise the intersection would have been filled with children playing.

“Usually all the kids are out on that corner at that time,” she said.

Tawnya Panizzi is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tawnya by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .


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