, Port Arthur, Texas

Local News

April 7, 2014

Students remember classmate with balloon release

PORT ARTHUR — “If my parting left a void, then fill it with remembered joy.”

Those words — a portion of “I’m Free,” a poem written by Shannon Lee Moseley, were read Monday on a chilly April morning at Booker T. Washington Elementary.

There,  students gathered at the back of the campus to not only remember their classmate, but to celebrate the young life taken too soon.

The third, fourth and fifth graders released red an purple balloons in remembrance of Tyvone Washington, a fourth-grader who died March 29 after he was struck by a vehicle while crossing the highway in the 8500 block of Memorial Boulevard/U.S. 69.

“He was our student, our friend, our loved one,” Shamine Cormier, Community in Schools site coordinator, said.

The balloon release was a way to not only celebrate the time students spent with Tyvone, but was also a way to help release pain many have felt since their classmate’s passing.

“He was like a brother to me,” Kavryn Fruge, 11, said after releasing his balloon into the air.

Kendrick Taylor, 10, remembered Tyvone as a friend who always had a big smile on his face.

“He made me laugh; he would always crack jokes,” Kendrick said. “We miss him.”

Comier said she thought the balloon release would be a good way for the students to work through their friend, and classmate’s, death.

“I have seen balloon releases in the past, and know it is a physical release of pain and hurt, and the balloons are also a way to celebrate his life,” she said.

Tyvone’s homeroom teacher, Melodie Allen, remembered her student as “always smiling, very joyful, very respectful.”

“He always did what he was told,” Allen said.

Trenton Scott, assistant principal described the day’s balloon release as a time to celebrate Tyvone’s life.

“This is a celebration of life, of the time we had with him, and a way for us to move forward with him in our hearts and minds,” Scott said.

The students, Scott said, are doing the best they can during this difficult time.

“The kids are taking it as I am, one day at a time to move forward. This is a significant event to them, as it is to the staff at the school,” Scott said.


Twitter: skooncePANews


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