Wednesday, 17 February 2021 12:28

Richmond Senior remembers lost students

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Three former students who passed away within the past year — Jalen David, Jacob Hughes and Casey Johnson — are remembered Tuesday evening with a drive-thru memorial at Richmond Senior High School. Three former students who passed away within the past year — Jalen David, Jacob Hughes and Casey Johnson — are remembered Tuesday evening with a drive-thru memorial at Richmond Senior High School. Charlie Melvin - Richmond Observer

ROCKINGHAM —Three Richmond Senior High School students were remembered Tuesday night in a drive-thru vigil. 


Driving their cars through the school’s campus, visitors paid their respects to the students. Drivers were asked to turn their car lights off, presumably to allow the luminaries to be seen.

Drivers were greeted by a green-lit Raider Stadium and a soundtrack arranged by students.  

“It came together because the staff wanted to remember all three kids in some way and not just let it pass because we didn’t think that was right,” said Principal Jim Butler. “And then the students, the Senate and the Beta Club, also wanted to remember the students. You know, these were their classmates, and we just put our heads together and this is what we came up with. 

“It’s not enough. I don’t know there’s any gesture that will be enough.”

A memorial at the front of the school featured three spot-lit banners for Jalen David, Jacob Hughes, and Casey Johnson for the passing cars to see. 

According to Butler, the banners were made by the school’s graphics department and will be given the families of the three students.  

David, a member of the high school’s basketball team, passed away in August of 2020. He was remembered at a balloon-release service at Falling Creek park in September of last year.

Jacob Hughes, a senior this year at Richmond Senior High School this year passed away Jan. 4.

Casey Johnson, passed away Jan. 23, 2021 at UNC Hospital after police found him unresponsive at his home several days earlier. 

At least two of the students’ families were present.

“It has been frustrating because we didn’t feel like we could show and remember them in the way that we should ... because of the rules of the pandemic.” Butler said. 

The principal added that the stadium would remain lit overnight.

“Hopefully this is something we never have to do again.”