A very sad story at Normandy High School today. Officials say that two students were playing around at lunch yesterday when one punched the other in the chest as part of a game that appears to have gone horribly wrong.
The student, Marquez Oliver, a fifteen-year-old freshman, collapsed in the cafeteria -- and a school resource officer and nurse tried, unsuccessfully, to revive the boy. He regained consciousness in the ambulance, officials say, but died just after 6:30 p.m.
Police say it seems there was no bullying or foul play -- just two students horsing around.
Police officials tell the Post-Dispatch that the boy who struck Oliver is fourteen years old:
"It was a game, and they would run up and one would punch the other one in the chest and run off," said Wellston Police Chief G. Thomas Walker.
At about 1 p.m. Thursday, Marquez was hit in the chest in the cafeteria. Witnesses told police that Marquez said: "Oh yeah, I can take that. That didn't hurt," and then he immediately collapsed, Walker said.
Marquez apparently did not suffer from any known medical condition, the paper reports. As part of the game, Marquez had reportedly punched the fourteen-year-old in the chest the day before.
Daily RFT got a copy of the letter Normandy High School sent out to parents today, full version on view below.
Principal Calvin Nicholas writes:
During the lunch period yesterday, a 9th grade student collapsed after apparently engaging in physical play with other students. After being transported to the hospital, we learned late last evening the student passed.KSDK (Channel 5) just tweeted out this photo.
In our district, the safety and well-being of our students and staff in a productive learning environment is our highest priority. The loss of any member of the Normandy School District family, particularly a student, is disturbing to us all. We are saddened by this unfortunate incident and understand that students may have upsetting feelings about the loss of one of their classmates....
Our deepest sympathy goes out to the student's family. Words are totally inadequate to express our feelings
And the P-D has this raw footage of an emotional press conference at the school today in which Phillip Boyd, chief administrative officer for the Normandy School District, adressed reporters. He broke down in tears twice.
Here's the full letter.
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