South High teacher who died helped break up fight shortly before being taken to hospital

A South High educator who died Tuesday was taken to the hospital complaining he did not feel well a short time after he helped break up a student fight.

An Omaha Public Schools official said Tom Dickey, 37, was one of approximately 10 staff members who intervened in a fight during school breakfast between five girls.

Within an hour of the fight, Dickey told co-workers, the school nurse and Principal Ruben Cano that he did not feel well.

An ambulance took him to the Nebraska Medical Center, where he later died.

Grief counselors were on hand at South Wednesday to help students and staff who were shocked by Dickey’s death. Staff members created condolence cards for Dickey’s family, which includes his wife and two children, and wrote down memories of a colleague whom Cano said poured himself into his job.

“It was a sad day,” Cano said. “We’re all in mourning. We lost a friend and lost a colleague.”

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