School helps students deal with loss of classmate, vigil to be held

(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

HOXIE, AR (KAIT) - Hoxie High School brought counselors and local pastors to campus Thursday to help students deal with the loss of a classmate.

Hoxie Superintendent Radius Baker confirmed 15-year-old Eric Harmon died in a head-on crash near Bono Wednesday afternoon.

Eric was a 10th grade student at Hoxie and Baker said he was a great kid.

"It's very painful for everyone," Baker said.

He said they started the school day Thursday with an assembly, encouraging students to talk with each other, their favorite teacher, or the counselors.

Students were told it was okay if they needed to leave class and Baker said several did step out to talk with someone.

"We want to make their life here today as simple as possible," Baker said. "We want to make sure that we're here for them."

Eric was a band student at Hoxie. Wednesday night, school officials opened the band room for students to gather and share good memories about him.

"Any type of fine arts program, and band obviously here, those kids are real close," Baker said. "The kids just felt like they lost a part of themselves."

Baker said the unexpected death of a student is always hard, but he thinks being a small, close community actually helps them in the healing process.

"I think that it allows us to get people that we know and trust and can relate to and it allows a healing that maybe is a little quicker, a little better than someone who is just one of many students," he said.

A flashlight vigil will be held on the Hoxie High School football field on Sunday at 7 p.m.

Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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