Canton students remember a friend Organize effort over Facebook in honor of Brandon McNett
CANTON - They wanted to honor their friend.
And that's just what more than 200 Canton High School students did Monday in memory of Brandon McNett, a senior at Canton Area Junior-Senior High School who died in a crash Friday in Canton Township.
On Monday, the students showed up to school dressed in camouflage because McNett liked hunting, according to high school principal Craig Coleman. He said the students used Facebook over the weekend to spread the word about their plans.
The effort was a highly successful one.
The students, all dressed in camouflage, gathered in the high school gym Monday afternoon, where they sat on the bleachers to have their photo taken. Coleman said a total of 232 were on hand.
They made heart signs with their hands as they posed for the photo.
An adult, Penny Wheeler, who was taking a photo of the students, was impressed by the turnout.
"He was a very popular young man," she said of McNett. "He was a good kid."
She remembered him being "always happy" as he spent time with his fellow students.
A senior, Caleb Henson, who was McNett's best friend and hunted with him, said McNett hunted deer, bear, turkey and small game.
"It would mean a lot to him," he said of the students' efforts to remember their fellow classmate and friend.
Coleman said the students were doing their best to cope with the loss.
"We're all sad," he said. "We lost one of our own."
On Friday, district superintendent Matt Gordon said that Coleman met with the senior class to inform them of the passing of their classmate.
He said the district had grief counselors from North Western Human Services, members of the Canton ministerial group, and the district's own staff providing emotional first aid and grief counseling Friday at the school.
"We will continue to provide counseling for students and staff through this grieving process for as long as it is needed," he had stated.
Jessica Watson, the guidance counselor at the school, said Monday that there was a "close-knit group" of McNett's friends who wanted to remember him and all the good times they had together.
She said they were "kicking around ideas" for some type of way to honor his memory in the future.
Eric Hrin can be reached at (570) 297-5251; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.