Hudson School Dist. mourning loss of student - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Hudson School Dist. mourning loss of student

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HUDSON (KWWL) -

We've learned the name of the child killed in a boating accident on Eagle Lake in Evansdale Wednesday.  Police say 9-year-old Bodee Peterson of Hudson died after being hit by a boat propeller.  Peterson was a member of the Waterhawks Ski Team. 

He died just one day before he was to start fourth grade at Hudson Elementary School, making it a somber beginning of the school year for everyone.

"We are teachers.  And we are teachers of math, teachers of science, the subject areas.  Now we get to be teachers of life:  how do you handle tragedy, how do you grieve, what's okay, how to address your emotions and do those sorts of teachings.  So now we're into life teaching today and probably will be for a while yet," said Mark Schlatter, Hudson Elementary principal.

Bodee Peterson had been a student in Hudson for about three years.  In that short time, he made a big impact on fellow students and staff.

"He has been well received by his classmates.  He was very popular.  He was energetic, athletic, just fun to be around," Schlatter said.

In the small school, the loss of such a beloved student is hard to bear.  That's why Hudson district officials called the Area Education Agency's crisis response team as soon as they learned of Peterson's death at Eagle Lake.  Since Peterson has older siblings at the middle and high schools, seven crisis team members are working with students and staff throughout the district, offering counseling and support to keep school going as normally as possible.

"Whether that means providing support to children who just need time away from the classroom, providing alternate activities for them.  Or whether it's substitute teaching for a classroom for a period or two so the teacher can cope with the grief that the students and themselves are feeling," said Jay Colsch with AEA 267 Special Education Services.

The Hudson School District says it's working hard to meet the needs of all students and staff and will keep counselors on hand as long as they're needed…all while trying to continue classes without one of their own.

The Waterhawks Ski Club has released the following statement on Peterson's death:

The Waterhawks Ski Team is deeply saddened by this week's tragedy resulting in the loss of life of one of our youngest members.

We are a small, tight-knit group of area families who enjoy water sports together, and words, alone, cannot express our profound sorrow at the loss of one of our own.  Despite our high standards for water safety, the potential for human injury is always present, and this week realized.

Bodee's death is a great loss to our team, the show skiing community, and all who knew and loved him.  Our heartfelt sympathy is extended to the Peterson family, and others associated with this tragic accident.

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