Breaking News
More () »

School sends note to parents on how to talk about Faye Swetlik's death

Parents of students received a voicemail to help them talk to their children about death.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Springdale Elementary School has sent out a message to parents after the death of Faye Swetlik, the 6-year-old girl who was found dead after being missing for days. 

RELATED: Missing SC 6-year-old Faye Swetlik found dead

RELATED: Faye Swetlik was 'bubbly, energetic, loved dresses'

Faye was a first grader at Springdale Elementary school and was reported missing after playing in her front yard in Cayce. Cayce Department of Public Safety announced Thursday afternoon that they had discovered the body

The voicemail gives parents a few tips to on how to talk to their children about the death of 6-year-old Faye Swetlk..

Here is the voicemail left for parents: 

Dear Springdale Families:

We have some heart-breaking news to share. One of our students, Faye Swetlik, who has been the subject of media reports this week and an intensive search effort, has passed away.

We contacted you earlier this week about this missing child, to share with
you some of the efforts here at school to support our students and staff.

That support will be more important than ever in coming days, as our
community grieves this loss. Our goal here at Springdale is to listen to and
reassure our students and to keep the school day as normal as we possibly
can during this difficult time.

We will have extra district and school counselors on hand in coming days.
They will be available to meet with your child should the need arise.

We know how hard something like this is even for adults to understand.
This letter contains some general suggestions about how you can help your
child. In general, after something like this, children need to know that they
are safe and that their home is safe. Remember, too, that children look to
the adults in their lives, watch how they handle grief and loss, and take
their cues from you as they approach difficult situations like this.

If you do discuss the death, use very simple language and ideas as death
is a very hard concept for young children to grasp. Listed below are a few
general strategies you may choose to use to talk with your child about

Give honest, brief explanations 

Avoid over-answering questions 

Keep responses at the child’s level of understanding 

Listen and hug

Use a calm, reassuring voice

Avoid forcing the discussion 

Remind children it is natural and acceptable to show emotion when someone we love dies.

If you are worried about how your child is doing, please do not hesitate to
call our school at 803-739-4175. We are here to support your students
through this.

Hope Vrana

Springdale Elementary School 


Before You Leave, Check This Out