Lebanon principal on student death: ‘Sometimes it just doesn’t make sense.’

Katie Banks, 17, a junior at Lebanon High School, died Saturday at Atrium Medical Center.

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Katie Banks, 17, a junior at Lebanon High School, died Saturday at Atrium Medical Center.

The death of a 17-year-old junior has prompted a period of mourning at Lebanon High School.

Grief counselors were called in to help students and staff deal with the death of Kaitlyn Anne “Katie” Banks.

Banks died over the weekend at Atrium Medical Center, apparently from natural causes.

“She was a really sweet kid. It is a rough day,” Principal Scott Butler said Tuesday.

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Students met with counselors and a county crisis team brought in to help students and staff cope with the loss.

“A lot of them made individual cards,” Butler said.

Butler said the school was also supporting Katie’s sister, Lexie, a ninth-grader also at the high school.

“Sometimes it just doesn’t make sense,” Butler said.

End-of-year tests, scheduled to begin on Monday, were delayed until Thursday.

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“We were scheduled to begin state testing yesterday, but we pushed it back a few days to allow our kids who are grieving time to work with counselors,” Butler said.

School staff are collecting donations for a tree to be planted in celebration of her life.

“We would like to remember Katie’s beauty by planting a Magnolia tree, pink flower of course, that will bloom each spring to brighten our days,” a notice for the fund-raising said.

Banks died Saturday at Atrium Medical Center, apparently from natural causes, according to the Warren County Coroner’s Office.

“Katie Banks will be dearly missed. She was a sweet young lady who made a big difference in the world of those who had the opportunity to know her. She had a love of biology, art, baking, caring for children, helping others, and had a desire to become a teacher,” a staff member wrote.

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“She always put others first and showed strength beyond her years as she struggled to manage her epilepsy. Her friends say she was an inspiration and a person they could always go to. Her family remembers her always smiling and loving life.”

Visitation is 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Silver Grove Baptist Church, 7770 Ohio 350 in Oregonia.

Arrangements are being handled by Stine-Kilburn Funeral Home.

“Kaitlyn will be remembered for her love of her therapy dog Max, attending church camp and drawing,” according to her obituary.

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