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Olivia, Minnesota, lowers flags to half-staff in sorrow over death of BOLD High School student

Flags will remain at half-staff in Olivia until funeral services for a BOLD student are concluded to reflect the sorrow the community collectively feels over the loss.

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Flags on city property in Olivia are flying at half mast in honor of BOLD High School student Carter Bremseth, who passed away over the weekend. Shelby Lindrud / West Central Tribune

OLIVIA — Olivia Mayor Jon Hawkinson ordered that all flags flying over city property in Olivia be lowered to half-staff on Monday.

The decision “reflects the sorrow the community collectively feels due to the passing of a BOLD High School student,” the city stated in announcing the action.

The BOLD Schools learned Sunday night of the death of Carter Bremseth, a sophomore in the high school.

Superintendent of Schools Jim Menton notified families in the district Monday of the death and informed them of assistance the district is providing students.

The district began the school day two hours late, which allowed staff to arrive ahead of students. Staff members met with counselors.

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Menton said it was helpful for the staff “as they were able to begin to deal with their own emotions before having to explain it to students.”

The school will continue to make counseling available to all who may need it. In his memo to families, the superintendent noted that it’s “important to understand there are many ways of dealing with grief.”

“Some cry, while others need to laugh. Some are scared and others angry. In fact, most of us will feel all of these emotions in the future and that is OK. To someone crying, it may seem like the group near them laughing is being insensitive. They are just dealing with it in a different way at that moment,” he stated.

The superintendent urged anyone who may have concerns about a student to call the office at 320-523-1031 “and let us know so we can help them through this or any other situation they may be facing.”

Along with the two-hour late start, the school has canceled band and choir concerts by students in grades 5-8 and 9-12 that were scheduled Monday and Tuesday. The BOLD School Board Truth-in-Taxation meeting scheduled for Monday was also postponed.

”Now is a time for us to be with family and friends. Let them know how special they are and that you are there to support them,” said the superintendent in the memo to families.

In its announcement, the city of Olivia stated that the mayor consulted with Gov. Tim Walz’s office before making the decision to lower the flags. The flags will remain at half-staff until funeral services are concluded.

“Olivia, along with the entire BOLD community, shares in the grief and sorrow felt with the passing of one of its young members,” Mayor Hawkinson said. “We join together in expressing our condolences to the family, friends, teachers and neighbors who love and know this individual.”

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