Helping Jonathan Law heal after tragic stabbing: Messages offer prayers and condolences

School officials are asking the community to help Jonathan Law High School heal after the tragic death of 16-year-old Maren Sanchez Friday.

A note posted on the Board of Education’s website carries a message of the tragedy and an appeal for the community to come together.

“We are heartbroken today,” reads the message posted by School Principal Fran Thompson and School Supt. Dr. Elizabeth Feser.

“We have tragically lost a beloved member of our student body, Maren Sanchez. Maren, a junior, was ‘everything right’ as a student at Jonathan Law. An honor student, active member of our school community and incredible young woman, her time with us was much too short but her spirit will be with us forever.”

“We ask you to please join us in praying for Maren, her family, her friends, and all of our school community as we cope with this tragic event,” the message continues. “We call upon the Milford community for your support of our Jonathan Law students, staff and families.”

Maren was stabbed to death at the high school Friday morning, just before classes started for the day. The 16-year-old boy who stabbed her was, according to friends and social media, angry that she would not go to the prom that night with him.

Following the tragedy, the students and others united at Walnut Beach and later at the First United Church of Christ to hold vigils for Maren. Counselors have been at the high school to talk to students and staff, and messages of support and sympathy have come from many places.

State Sen. Gayle Slossberg, who was at the school with other officials Friday, said, “The entire Milford community is in mourning. Our thoughts and prayers are with Maren Sanchez’s family and all the families touched by this tragedy. I have been in contact with the governor’s office, and have been assured that any assistance the Milford community needs will be made available.

“There is nothing more horrific than the loss of a young life,” Slossberg added. “Our hearts are broken.”

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro sent a message through the media, expressing her sorrow.

“I was saddened to learn of this morning’s tragic events at Jonathan Law High School and the death of Maren Sanchez,” DeLauro wrote on Friday. “My thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends as they deal with this terrible heartbreak.”

Expressions of grief also came from popular singer-songwriter Phillip Phillips, who won the 11th season of American Idol in 2012. A Youtube video shows Maren singing Phillips’ song “Home” at a talent competition. Phillips tweeted, “I am so sad to hear of the tragic death of Maren Sanchez. My thoughts and prayers are with her family.”

Jonathan Law’s school newspaper, The Advocate, has announced plans for people to wear purple on Monday in honor of Maren; students also painted a boulder in front of the school with her name, and flowers, cards, candles and other tributes have been placed around it.

Postings by friends and classmates on Twitter and Facebook indicate that Maren will be named this year’s prom queen, when the postponed prom takes place.

Students at Foran High School — Milford’s other public high school — reached out to their fellow Milford high school students, posting a video that offered condolences and support.

In the short video, the student administration at Foran —  Vice President John Lachak, President Valeriya Pozdnyakova and Treasurer Ben Lavallee — tell their friends at Law that they are there for them.

“If you guys need anything, let us know. Stay strong,” the Foran students say.