A student at Snellville Middle School died Thursday after collapsing at the 8th grade school dance.
In a letter to parents posted on the school’s website, principal Katise Menchan said the 8th grade boy experienced a medical emergency while at the after-school dance, and school staff immediately tried to help. Emergency services transported the boy to an area hospital, where he died, she said.
School officials later confirmed the boy suffered a seizure.
“This has been a very difficult day for all of us,” wrote Menchan in the letter. “A loss like this touches not just our students but others throughout the school and community. I know your thoughts and prayers will be with this student’s family, our students, our faculty, and our school as a whole as we cope with this loss.”
Eric Swearington said his daughter was with the boy when he collapsed. She told her father she and the boy were dancing in a cluster of friends when suddenly he fell on her, shaking. “Everything was just fine one second, she thought he was just playing because he fell on her,” said Swearington. “They thought it was a joke.”
After the boy wouldn’t get up, the group of students panicked and started shaking him, the father said. Some of the observers began crying, his daughter told him. “It really scared a lot of kids.”
The students ran to get help, and school staff and adult supervisors took over. Swearington said his daughter returned home somber, worried about her friend. She didn’t learn of his death until administators told students at school Friday morning.
Grief counselors were at the school Friday to help students deal with the loss, school officals said. Swearington wanted to pick up his daughter from school, but she decided to stay among classmates.
“I’m sure it’s a difficult time,” he said for the students at Snellville Middle. “I dont even know how to begin to talk to my daughter about this.”
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