For the last three days, the school has rallied behind Tray Turner’s family with hopes that the 14-year-old freshman would recover from injuries suffered during a fall on the school’s stairs around the lunch hour on Monday. Those hopes were dashed Thursday morning when Tray died in a St. Louis hospital.
“It was very upsetting,” Collinsville senior Keeley Berube said Thursday afternoon outside the school. “Once (Tray’s death was reported), everyone’s jaw just dropped. We expected that this was going to happen, but we tried to keep our thoughts high.”
Despite what appeared to be grim prospects for Tray’s recovery, his fellow students tried to maintain optimism for his situation.
“A lot of us had hope,” said senior Alauna Baker.
The school had rallied around Tray in the hours after the incident. KAHOKstrong, a student group that assists students throughout the Collinsville School District, organized a fund drive on Tuesday. The group announced a fundraiser during the school’s homecoming football game on Friday. A #prayfortray T-shirt sales drive also was launched to help show support for the family.
The school canceled all homecoming-related festivities on Thursday. All athletic events at the school were canceled as well. The Friday night homecoming football game against Granite City will be played as scheduled.
Berube and Baker agreed with the decision to cancel Thursday’s homecoming events.
“I think it’s a good idea to cancel it because everyone is upset about (Tray’s death),” Berube said.
“We should take time out,” Baker said.
The school observed a moment of silence after Tray’s death was announced over the school intercom on Thursday.