TAMPA - It is the worst Monday ever at Liberty Middle School in New Tampa. The first thing students saw as they arrived on campus was flags flying at half staff to mark the death of 8th grader and soccer team member Beau Schenecker.
Jae Shim was Beau's classmate and friend. "I really didn't want to come," she said. There is just one reason Shim found the strength to come to school. She said, "His favorite color was blue. We wanted to show him we miss him and he didn't deserve this."
Shim is one of hundreds of students and staff at Liberty Middle School who answered a Facebook plea to wear black and blue Monday to honor Beau. "It helps being with friends to get through this," Shim said.
Other students left flowers, cards and candles in a makeshift memorial in front of the school. It is also where Schenecker's soccer jersey hangs and where some students paused for a moment of silence.
Grief councilors were on hand Monday for students and teachers. Principal Jimmy Ammirati said,"We will get through this, but we need the entire student body, faculty and staff to come together."
There will be an assembly for the entire school later in the week to honor Schenecker and help students cope.
Copyright 2011 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Deveante Bell, 19, is charged with the death of Yellow Cab driver John Dooley on Sunday evening. Dooley, 56, was found in his cab in the driveway of an abandoned house.