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Lame Deer High School

Lame Deer High School.

Lame Deer High School was closed Wednesday after a 15-year-old male student was found unconscious near the school Tuesday and later pronounced dead at the town’s Indian Health Services Clinic.

No foul play is suspected in the teenager’s death, Rosebud County Sheriff Alan Fulton said Wednesday, describing the incident as resulting from a medical condition.

His cause of death was still undetermined as of Wednesday afternoon, he said.

A pair of student athletes found the boy unconscious near the football fields at about 4 p.m., Lame Deer Public Schools Superintendent Gerald Chouinard said Wednesday. The two students carried him into a school building, where a teacher and a coach tried to resuscitate the boy after calling 911, he said.

The victim was taken to the IHS clinic, where he was pronounced dead, Fulton said. The sheriff, who also serves as the county coroner, had not publicly released the teenager’s name as of Wednesday afternoon.

Lame Deer High School was closed Wednesday due to the death.

“On behalf of the district, on behalf of the entire staff, our thoughts and prayers go out to the student’s family and close friends,” Chouinard said. “We’re all feeling quite a deal of shock.”

The district announced on Facebook Tuesday evening that all schools in the district would be closed the following day “due to a tragedy in the student body.”

Classes are scheduled to resume Thursday, with counseling and grief services available for all students.

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Lame Deer High School houses about 260 students in grades 7 through 12.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Chouinard said there hadn’t been any general communication with students or parents beyond the district’s Facebook post, but said “extensive counseling” from the school’s crisis team consisting of staff from the school, the Northern Cheyenne Tribe’s health services department and IHS would be made available to any students who request it.

“We’ve given the factual information we have, if asked, and are trying to respect the wishes of the family and run everything through them,” he said.

Chouinard added that he personally knew the 15-year-old, who he said had recently re-enrolled in the school and had just finished his second day as a freshman.

“I knew him as his principal for a couple years. He was a great kid. Everybody loved him,” he said. “He touched a lot of hearts and we’re all reeling from this tragedy.”

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Morning Reporter

General assignment reporter for the Billings Gazette.