Classes resumed Monday at La Cañada High School, in an attempt to provide some stability to this shattered community, still grappling with how senior Campbell Taylor fell to his death from a walkway.
The student-erected memorial on Oak Grove Drive mushroomed over the weekend, with more students, residents and alums leaving cards and flowers. Many wrote messages on a vintage typewriter set up in front of the Spartans sign. The 17-year-old had written several pieces for the La Cañada Spartan, the campus newspaper.
Former Spartan editor Kevork Kurdoghlian told Patch that he paid his respects Sunday, unable to find the courage to attend Saturday night's candlelight vigil.
Here's what Kurdoghlian said about the boy whose life ended four months before his 18th birthday.
"I left a copy of the Volume 23 Issue 1 of The Spartan, this was the copy he had hand delivered to me at the beginning of the year, the first issue of this school year, on the front cover was the picture of Endeavor, a moment in our history which he masterfully captured and unselfishly shared with us all, and left a hand written letter addressed to him as well. I said an Our Father and Hail Mary then left.
"He had also let me keep his flash drive, which, as a journalist, I took as a very personal gesture of respect and gratitude. That flash drive will be attached to my keys for as long as I have keys to attach it to. He was witty, hard working and committed. He would always be one of the people working overtime with me on the newspaper. I just hope he finds Republicans to debate his liberal views with in Heaven the way we debated politics on this earth. He's flying above us now. That's really what he wanted to do.''
Authorities are still determining the cause of death. Initial police reports suggested Taylor may have jumped. The tragedy comes one year after 15-year-old Crescenta Valley High School student Drew Ferraro lept to his death from atop a campus building.
(While officials have not officially released the decedent's name, La Cañada students, past and present, spoke freely about their lost friend, as well as posted identifying pictures and messages on Twitter and Facebook. Additionally, students addressed letters and heartfelt messages to "Campbell.'')
District Offers to Pay for Psychiatric Treatment
In a letter posted on the La Cañada Unified School District website Saturday, Superintendent Wendy Sinnette listed resources for parents to contact if they feel their child needs a crisis hotline. Additionally, the District offered to pay for emergency mental health treatment at Verdugo Hills Hospital over the weekend.
"We know that some families may not have access to psychiatric services due to a variety of reasons, and the La Cañada Unified School District does not want an inability to pay for treatment to be the reason that your child does not receive the emergency services they need,'' Sinnette wrote in the letter.
The district's governing board offered its own statement:
"We all share in the profound sorrow at the sudden and tragic loss of a young life. As we struggle for understanding and the strength to carry on, let us seek compassion and solace for the family and friends of this young man as well as the entire LCUSD community.
"In response to this tragedy, District staff has accessed community resources including Verdugo Hill Hospital and has received assistance from Glendale and Burbank Unified School Districts, LA County, and the California Teachers Association to provide counseling support for students and staff.''
"School will open as usual on Monday morning providing a normal routine to the extent possible to help students cope with this tragedy.''
Hundreds Turn out for Candlelight Vigil
Students Mourn Death of a La Cañada Teen
Video: a Cañada High School Suffers 'A Completely Saddening and Horribly Devastating Event'
La Cañada High School Student Dies After Jumping or Falling Off Campus Building
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