BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL)- Monday marked the beginning of a difficult week for West Ridge High School as students and staff tried to make sense of the loss of a freshman student over the weekend.
14-year-old Gracie McBryant died in a camper fire on Ayrshire Road in Bristol just before 6 a.m. Saturday.
“We do have plans in place for the death of a student, so we immediately activated those responses. We called grief counselors, our mental health counselors,” said Dr. Joshua Davis, the school’s principal. “We have pastoral care. We began that process to make sure that we have the support in place for our students and our staff.”
Gracie played clarinet in the band and had a personality as “vibrant” as the bright blue eyeshadow she was known for wearing.
“They’ve asked all of their band friends and really, in general, the public and in the school to wear that bright blue eyeshadow throughout the week in honor of Gracie,” said Davis.
Those who marched with her on Friday nights are now marching on to carry her spirit.
“[The band has] already initiated the GoFundMe page, which I think is going to be going through our band boosters to try to support the family,” Davis said.
Dr. Davis says Gracie leaves behind both of her parents, an older sister and younger brother who also attend West Ridge and two younger siblings in elementary school.
While the fire that took Gracie’s life over the weekend appears to be an accident, a spokesperson for the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Department told News Channel 11 that investigators with their department and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation are still investigating what happened.
To donate to the GoFundMe, click here.