A pregnant, much-loved social studies teacher at a Maryland high school has been reported missing since Sunday, September 3, and police have found her vehicle in the parking lot of an apartment complex near a mall, the Baltimore Sun reports.
- The search continues, with students’ help, WJZ-TV (CBS affiliate) reports.
Laura Wallen was named the Senior Class Teacher of the Year at Wilde Lake High School in 2016, FOX 5 DC reported.
— Lindsay Murray (@Lindz_Murray99) September 6, 2017
Ms Wallen’s family reportedly last heard from her in a troubling text message on September 3. She is described as being four months pregnant, 5 feet 5 inches tall, 200 pounds, with blue eyes and blonde hair.
Anyone with information, please call the Montgomery County Police Department’s non-emergency number at (301) 279-8000. Ms Wallen lives in Olney, which is in Montgomery County, but Wilde Lake High School, where she teaches, is in Columbia, in Howard County.
Wilde Lake Principal Rick Wilson’s letter to school families
September 6, 2017
Dear Wilde Lake Community:
I am writing to inform you of a report released by the Montgomery County Police Department late yesterday and to make you aware of the response by Wilde Lake High School staff and the Howard County Public School System.
Ms. Laura Wallen, Wilde Lake High School Social Studies teacher, has been reported missing by the Montgomery County Police Department. Wilde Lake staff met this morning and then shared this information with students in first period classes. Many students were already aware of this news via social media yesterday evening. Our staff members are closely monitoring students who may need assistance to process their thoughts and emotions associated with this report. The Wilde Lake Administrative team, Student Services staff, and the Howard County Public School Crisis Team are available to assist students and staff during the school day, as needed. We will contact the parents of any students who come to Student Services for individual support.
When speaking with your child(ren) about this situation, please reinforce that adults in their lives are here to provide for their safety and to guide them through difficult situations.
Listen to your child’s story — Let your child know that you are available to answer any questions. You may not have all the answers to their questions, but they will benefit from your attention. Provide simple, accurate information in response to questions.
Encourage your child to express his or her feelings — Talk about your own feelings. Don’t be afraid to express how the uncertainty of the situation makes you feel, as this helps to validate and normalize your child’s reaction to this information. Provide your child with time in the coming days to discuss this when he/she is ready to talk.
I would also encourage you to contact your child’s counselor if you need any additional support. We will share additional information as it becomes available. Let’s keep Ms. Wallen, her family, and the entire Wilde Lake community in our thoughts and prayers during this time.