The black clothing worn by students and staff members reflected the mood at Crescenta Valley High School on Tuesday, the first day back on campus since a 15-year-old student jumped to his death from a three-story building during lunch period on Friday.
“I am not the person to wear black,” said Corey Timpson, 17, as she headed to her first class. “I try to avoid it, actually, but today I wore it in respect for the loss.”
Many students said they were still in shock.
“[School officials] said there is going to be grief counselors available, so that is good,” said Leo Rostamian, 18. “A lot of people are going to need that because a lot of people saw the fall.”
Others said that they were trying unsuccessfully to avoid talking about the incident, which horrified witnesses and shocked the greater Crescenta Valley community.
“It feels weird, it is just awkward,” said Garrett Manalo, 17, of being back on campus. “It is still depressing, [with] everything that happened.”
Members of the school community were encouraged to don black, and to wear heavy-metal-themed T-shirts in memory of Drew, who friends said was a music-lover and a member of the junior varsity football team.
More than a dozen students prayed together before entering campus Tuesday morning. A small memorial that sprung up in front of the school during the long weekend had been cleared away — the items taken to Crippen Mortuary upon the Ferraro family’s request, school officials said.
A new memorial took shape inside campus Tuesday, with flowers and notes arranged on a set of steps near where the incident occurred.
Pink paper hearts were affixed to each student locker bearing the message, “You are loved.” And students at neighboring La Cañada High School delivered a large poster with messages of sympathy and support.
Addressing the suicide over the school’s public announcement system, Principal Michelle Doll encouraged students to take advantage of counselors and school psychologists on campus.
“Please know that I care so much about all of you,” Doll said. “We need to make sure that we communicate with each other. Please reach out to your parents, to your friends, to all of the adults here on campus. Talk and share and communicate.
“It is going to be hard, and we will get through this together.”