How Jayme Closs' School District Is Preparing for Her Return: ‘There’s No Manual For This’
"Whatever Jayme needs, we’re going to give her," the superintendent of the Barron Area School District tells PEOPLE
Diane Tremblay plans to talk to every student in the school district before Jayme Closs returns to school.
“I have a feeling kids aren’t going to know what to say,” Tremblay, superintendent of the Barron Area School District tells PEOPLE. “Kids are kids. There are things that probably shouldn’t be said. We probably need to tell them that.”
Last Thursday, after three months in captivity, the 13-year-old Wisconsin teen escaped from her alleged kidnapper, Jake Thomas Patterson.
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Patterson is being held in the Barron County Jail. He is charged with two counts of first-degree homicide, one count of kidnapping and one count of armed burglary, according to the complaint.
At a court arraignment on Monday, he was not asked to enter a plea and his bail was set at $5 million. “This is a very tragic situation,” reads the statement. “There is a substantial amount of information, interest, and emotion involved in this case. Mr. Patterson’s legal team will be relying on the integrity of our judicial system to ensure that everyone’s rights are protected and respected.”
PEOPLE has reached out to the two lawyers for additional comment.
Jayme was reunited with her family on Saturday, and is now at her aunt, Jennifer Smith’s home.
“We’re just going to take one day at a time,” says Jayme’s cousin Lindsey Smith, Jennifer’s daughter. “My mom’s just going to let her do things on her own. When she’s ready for each step. They’ll just talk through them.”
There is no return date for Jayme, right now. If Jayme elects to return to Riverside Middle School, Tremblay plans to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible.
“There is no manual,” Tremblay says. “We’re definitely going to have meetings about meetings to make sure that her re-entry is beautifully smooth and make sure her family is comfortable with it.”
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Tremblay looks forward to seeing Jayme walking down the hallways and smiling again – whenever she’s ready.
“She’s the kind of kid you want in your classroom,” Tremblay says. “I look forward to knowing her much better. The teachers and the coaches and her friends just all say she’s just a lovely person.”
In the meantime, Tremblay plans to begin researching what to tell her students.
“I want to make sure we do the right things and say the right things and just continue to love and support her,” Tremblay says. “Whatever Jayme needs, we’re going to give her. She is going to be something. I look at the impact that this girl has already had on the world.
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