An Elysian Fields Middle School student’s death is being investigated as a possible suicide, the Panola County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday.
“We are investigating the death,” Chief Deputy John DePresca said. “We’re waiting for the medical examiner’s office to do their post mortem, and we’ve sent investigators to Elysian Fields school to see if we could gather any more information. But at this time we don’t anticipate any criminal charges involved.”
Elysian Fields ISD posted a statement on Facebook on Tuesday from Superintendent Maynard Chapman which said counseling services will be available to students on campus.
“We are all heartsick about our most recent loss in our community,” Chapman wrote. “On behalf of the Elysian Fields ISD, I extend our sympathy to the family.”
Marshall, Waskom and Karnack ISDs, along with other neighboring school districts have also posted other messages of support to EFISD and have asked their students to wear orange on Friday, in support of the student’s family and the whole Yellow Jacket community.
A Go Fund Me page has been started for the family of the Elysian Fields ISD student to help with funeral expenses. Find the Go Fund Me page here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/williams-family-memorial
As of Thursday evening, the fund had surpassed its goal, raising $10,210 of the $10,000 sought from 180 donors. The fund, created by New Boggy Baptist Church Pastor Bryten Johnson, is still active.
Johnson met with Elysian Fields ISD students on campus Wednesday, following the death of their classmate.
“All of our children shall be taught to love one another as we are to love ourselves knowing that love and joy shall be the peace of our children,” Johnson said on the Fund’s page. “Your financial support will be used to cover memorial costs and to help the family financially.”
Karnack ISD Administrative Assistant to the Principal Katie Wright wrote on the district’s Facebook page Wednesday, paying tribute to neighboring Elysian Fields ISD.
“From the Karnack ISD Family, we extend our sincerest prayers and condolences to our friends and neighbors at Elysian Fields ISD,” she wrote. “Also extending our prayers and condolences to (the student’s) family and friends. It is always so sad to hear of a child passing, whatever the case may be. But this one here, she hits very close to our hearts.”
Wright went on to describe how the student previously went to school at Karnack ISD in the 2016-17 school year.
“We were all truly devastated to hear the news last night/this morning of this tragedy,” Wright wrote. “She attended third grade here in 2016-17, and is remembered very fondly by staff and students alike. We lift you all in this time of sorrow, hoping that you can find comfort in knowing that she was very loved by her Karnack Indian family.”