Outpouring of grief for boy found dead at La Cañada High School

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Hundreds of students, teachers and community members gathered outside La Cañada High School on Saturday evening to take part in a candlelight vigil honoring a senior who fell to his death at the school the previous day.

Officials have yet to identify the boy who fell or jumped from the roof of the 700 building, which is primarily used by the middle school grades. Authorities were investigating the case as a possible suicide.

One student placed a typewriter -- a homage to the boy’s interest in journalism and his work at The Spartan -- in front of the flowers, candles and bags of candy piled on and around the school’s concrete sign.

As she typed a short message, students began to gather silently in a large circle, each holding candles in clear plastic cups, their bottoms lined with aluminum foil.


La Cañada Unified School District Supt. Wendy Sinette said officials did not plan the vigil.

“The kids did this,” she said. Above the vigil, an electronic sign flashed a message that all school events, including a planned music show, had been canceled.

This did not stop members of the school’s choir from putting on an impromptu tribute, singing two pieces that left many of the assembled in tears. Except for the songs, the vigil was completely silent, broken only by the sounds of cars coming by to drop off ever more students and of sniffling and muffled crying. After about an hour and a half, the memorial began to break up, with many students returning home beginning about 7:30 p.m. A few remained far later, however, keeping a silent watch into the night.


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-- Dan Evans, Times Community News