Oak Ridge community shocked by student's death

Oak Ridge community shocked by student's death

Posted:
The boy was a student at Linden Elementary School in Oak Ridge. Classmates say they didn't notice anything out of the ordinary while he was at school Tuesday. The boy was a student at Linden Elementary School in Oak Ridge. Classmates say they didn't notice anything out of the ordinary while he was at school Tuesday.
"In the classroom was really hard. I knew it was a lot, the stages of grief the kids are going through," Melody Pelfrey said, adding some are taking it worse than others. "In the classroom was really hard. I knew it was a lot, the stages of grief the kids are going through," Melody Pelfrey said, adding some are taking it worse than others.
"He always laughed and smiled no matter what," third-grade student Emma Pelfrey said. "He always laughed and smiled no matter what," third-grade student Emma Pelfrey said.
"He was dedicated. He always did what we told him to do, even when he messed up he was good. He never got down on himself, like I said, he was one of the happiest kids I've ever seen in my life," Ryan Benjamin said. "He was dedicated. He always did what we told him to do, even when he messed up he was good. He never got down on himself, like I said, he was one of the happiest kids I've ever seen in my life," Ryan Benjamin said.

By KAYLA STRAYER
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Residents in Oak Ridge are in shock after a young boy died Tuesday afternoon after becoming unresponsive on his bus ride home. He was pronounced dead at Methodist Medical Center. 

The cause of death is unknown and his name has not been released.  

He was a student at Linden Elementary School in Oak Ridge. Classmates say they didn't notice anything out of the ordinary while he was at school Tuesday.

"He always laughed and smiled no matter what," third-grade student Emma Pelfrey said.

Emma was in his class. She says she wore a green shirt to school today for a reason.

"I wore green, because that was his favorite color," Emma said.

She says her classmates wrote special notes to help remember their friend. Emma put a stuffed kangaroo on his desk.

"I taped a note to it. It said I love you. I miss you really much. You are my best friend," Emma said.

Emma's mom Melody Pelfrey was at the school Wednesday to offer support to the kids.

"In the classroom was really hard. I knew it was a lot, the stages of grief the kids are going through," Pelfrey said, adding some are taking it worse than others.

"You had some little kids with their heads in their hands, just so visibly upset," Pelfrey said.

She says it helped the students to share their favorite memories of their classmate.

"This will probably be the closest classmates she (Emma) will ever have because they've experienced this," Pelfrey said.

Ryan Benjamin coached the boy in football.

"He was dedicated. He always did what we told him to do, even when he messed up he was good. He never got down on himself, like I said, he was one of the happiest kids I've ever seen in my life," Benjamin said.

"Everyone keeps on saying that he is in a better place now, and he is," Emma said.

The Linden Elementary School PTO will be accepting donations to give to the family.

Oak Ridge Schools Superintendent Bruce Borchers says counseling was provided Wednesday and will continue to be available for students and staff.

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