Parent of Aragon Student Fly to Vancouver

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The principal and a counselor from San Mateo's Aragon High School  have traveled to Canada to support students on a school trip as they deal  with the loss of a classmate who died in a fall over the weekend. 

    The student was on a trip to Vancouver, British Columbia, with a  group of more than 100 students from Aragon's music program when he fell from  a viewing platform near the Capilano Suspension Bridge on Sunday evening.

    School officials have not yet released the student's name, but a  Facebook page set up in his honor identified him as Daniel Cho. The page had  1,805 fans as of this afternoon.

    Cho's parents are in Vancouver today and are working with  investigators, said Constable Michael McLaughlin, spokesman for the North  Vancouver Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

    "They've spoken with us, they've been to the scene ... obviously  they're very upset and they want some private time," he said.

    McLaughlin said police are not yet ready to discuss how the fall  occurred but said the student had somehow gotten to the other side of a  protective four-foot fence just before he fell.

    "There's only one way around it, and that's to go over the top,"  he said.

    He would not say whether it appears the student climbed over the  fence.

    "We are getting some ideas now, but my investigators still don't  want to release where their ideas are taking them," McLaughlin said.

    An autopsy was performed today, but toxicology test results will  take several weeks to come back, he said.   

    San Mateo Union High School District Associate Superintendent Matt  Biggar said Aragon's principal and a counselor traveled to Canada on Monday  to be with the students as they cope with the tragedy.

    The group altered its schedule on Monday to let students begin to  process the death, but they will continue with most of their plans, including  a concert they are scheduled to perform on Wednesday.  

    "The students really felt determined to carry on with the trip,"  Biggar said.  

    The group traveled to Vancouver to meet with students at Killarney  Secondary School, which participates in an educational exchange with Aragon.  The group from San Mateo included students from the school's band, orchestra  and choir.   

    The group is scheduled to return on Friday. 

    Meanwhile, back home, the Aragon community is struggling to come  to terms with what happened.

    Armaan Vachani, who just graduated from Aragon, said his sister is  on the trip. He said his mother had spoken with a school counselor by phone  and was emotional on Monday.

    "She's doing OK now. She was freaking out yesterday," Vachani  said.

    Vachani said he had communicated with his sister by text message  and that she is also learning to cope with the situation.

    Biggar said school is out for the summer but that parents of  Aragon students received a phone message informing them of the student's  death. 

    He said the students have been treated with compassion by their  Canadian counterparts, some of whom posted condolences on the Facebook page.

    The hotel has provided space and food for the students, and the  local school district has been supportive, he said.

    "We're very grateful for the support that our students have  received up in Canada," Biggar said.