Student#039;s death was an emergency

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 29, 2008

After the shocking death of star athlete Joshua Willis early April 16, Franklin High School was shut down for the day to allow the students to grieve.

A &uot;parent&uot; of a student at the middle school found it to be a shame that the high school and the middle school were shut down for the day for something that was not an emergency, as this parent stated in a comment posted on The Tidewater News’ Web site,

While in my English class on Thursday morning, our class saw the comment and we were all greatly upset by this comment.

We felt that the shutting down of the school was necessary and that Josh's death was an emergency. As students in class found out about the incident, they were met with tears and screams and just an undeniable feeling of loss.

So many students were unable to be calmed down along with some of the teachers.

There was no coming together for the day to learn or teach. A friend of mine told me that her teacher got the call about Josh's death and left the room crying before coming back into the classroom to give them the news.

By the end of the day, there were multiple forward text messages being sent around to the students of the high school honoring Josh and asking that he be kept in our prayers. Josh was a student, classmate, teammate, friend and a good person as well as a superior athlete.

If the loss of someone so dear to the student body and the faculty is not considered an emergency, then I do not see what could possibly be considered one. Most of Franklin High School and many students from Southampton found time to attend his funeral.

I’m sorry to the parent who feels that this tragedy was an inconvenience to your child's education or whatever you feel that it was. In your opinion, this was not close to an emergency; to those of us who knew Josh, it was one of the worst things imaginable.

Michelle Stainback

Franklin High School senior