Weleetka Schools Mourning Loss Of 2 Students That Died From Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Tuesday, October 22nd 2019, 7:53 pm
By: Amelia Mugavero

Leaders at Weleetka schools are mourning the loss of two students during their homecoming week after they died from carbon monoxide poisoning. 

Lockers 163 and 236 are the lockers of students Mathew Harrison and Anthony Riddle who lost their lives to suspected carbon monoxide poisoning.

Superintendent Chris Carter says the loss has shaken the entire school. 

"When you lose a student in a small school we're like a family so it's very difficult, so loosing two is really tough," Carter said.  

Carter says a group of counselors came to volunteer their time Monday - helping students and staff process what happened. Carter says their school community is like family, which has made the loss difficult for many. 

"That was our priority when we met yesterday was to have today prepared so that we could respond to our students to give them support along without staff," says Carter.

Related Story: 2 Weleetka Students Dead Of Apparent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning 

The football game that was scheduled for Tuesday night has been canceled - along with homecoming festivities - all to give students and staff and chance to grieve. 

Counselors tell us that the best way to help grieving friends and family is to be sensitive to their feelings and behaviors and be open to listening. 

Schools from across the state have sent flowers, and as Carter places them beneath the boys' lockers, he says the school is overwhelmed by the love and support. 

"I can't tell you how many calls and texts that I've received from local schools across the state asking me if there is anything they can do," says Carter. "It means the world them letting me know that their thoughts and prayers are with us the families and the students."

A prayer vigil will be held Wednesday evening in the gym at 6:30 p.m., and a chili bean dinner will be held before Friday's football game to help offset funeral costs for the families.

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