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Edgecombe County Students Counseled After Teacher Suicide

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TARBORO — Some students in Edgecombe County have a lotof questions after losing a popular teacher to an apparent suicide.Deputies found the body of 46-year-old Jamie Allen Wednesday morning inhis truck in the parking lot of West Edgecombe School.Educators are helping students struggle through this potentially difficulttime.

For many students Allen was a teacher they will never forget.He is best known for his nine years as a fourth-grade math instructor atWest Edgecombe. Wednesday morning, deputies say he used a small-caliberhand gun to take his own life. His body was found just a few minutesbefore sunrise.

Edgecombe County School Superintendent Dr. David Bryant says studentsat both schools are receiving counseling.

The sudden, unexpected loss led county officials to assemble two crisis teams, one at West Edgecombe, the other at Phillips Middle school.Allen had requested a transfer to Phillips, a magnet school, just twoweeks ago. Now, counselors and his fellow educators are left with the taskof helping his students deal with their loss. The only advice they canoffer to parents is to encourage their children to talk.

School spokesperson Diane LeFiles says parents should encourage theirchildren to talk about their feelings.

Allen also leaves behind friends in law enforcement. He was a sheriff'sdeputy for 12 years in Pitt County before going back to college to becomea teacher. He also worked as a DARE officer during his Pitt County lawenforcement career.

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