CPS mourns teacher who fell to death at hotel

November 1, 2010 6:09:35 PM PDT
Grief counselors were at a South Side school Monday after a teacher died from a fall over the weekend at the Palmer House Hilton.

Megan Duskey was killed when she fell over a staircase banister at the hotel. The Duskey family was making funeral arrangements Monday.

Over the weekend, some of Duskey's colleagues and parents of her students learned about the accident.

Classes at Bright Elementary included a rough, real-life lesson Monday: the preschoolers learned that Ms. Duskey was gone.

The young children might not understand death; even Duskey's colleagues found it hard to fully comprehend.

"We keep thinking she's going to come back or she'll be here tomorrow and we'll see her," said teacher Christina Garcia.

Duskey was at a Halloween party at the hotel on Saturday when she apparently attempted to slide down a banister rail but fell.

The Palmer House Hilton hotel released a statement Monday, saying, in part, that "the safety and security of the Palmer House Hilton guests are the hotel's top priorities. The Palmer House Hilton expresses its deepest sympathies to the family of the deceased."

Duskey was a special education teacher following in her mother's footsteps. She helped create the early childhood blended classroom at bright where general population students are blended with special education students.

"She was so loving and nurturing towards the students and wanted to make sure they were able, capable of doing the things that the students in the gen-ed population were able to do," said Bright Elementary Assistant Principal Lakisha Thigpen.

"Strong advocate for parent and child... resourceful, kind, gentle spirit," said Principal Millicent Clyburn. "She was a promising educator."

Last year was Duskey's first year teaching.

Students in Duskey's classes are working on art projects to give to her family. The children were also encouraged to talk about how they feel.

The school plans to memorialize Duskey following the family's funeral plans.


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