Year 11 classmates and teachers at the John Gray High School are mourning the death of 16- year-old John Shaw, a student who died over the weekend after collapsing on the beach. It was reported that Mr. Shaw complained about breathing problems after helping in the clean up efforts of the Seven Mile Beach with fellow cadets, after which family members say he attended a picnic.
It was at the picnic where Mr. Shaw complained that he had issues breathing, and then he collapsed shortly afterwards. According to reports, a family friend and co-worker of the teenager’s mother called the family to alert them of the scare when a bystander called 911 operators to report the emergency.
Family members say Mr. Shaw wasn’t in the water and confirmed that the 16-year-old was indeed asthmatic. John Gray High School principal Jonathan Clark said the young man was an inspirational student at the school and that no one had a single bad thing to say about him. He says at this time it’s important to help students cope with the tragedy and making sure staff members do the same.
“For us it’s about giving them time to grieve at their own rate and people grieve in different ways. As I said, it’s very very early, we are only a couple of hours into most of the student body finding that news out this morning. We’ve got additional counselors here in school, we pulled counselors in from across the island you know and they are here if students require that kind of support and help, that’s what we’re giving them,” Mr. Clark said.
Students have placed black ribbons on the school sign expressing their sentiments for a student many described as a positive force.