Remembering Kylee: School honors teen’s life in wake of deadly wreck
By WVUA 23 News Reporter A’Leeyah Ponder
It’s been a tough few weeks for Tuscaloosa County High School students, faculty and staff. Less than a month after a student was killed in a drive-by shooting, senior Kylee Whiston died in a wreck Nov. 2.
“It’s been very tough,” said Tuscaloosa County School System Mental Health Coordinator Angela Kelly.
Kylee, who was a TCHS senior, a band member and theater student, was killed in a wreck on Rose Boulevard in Northport. Two other students were injured.
Kelly said she didn’t know Kylee personally, but her loss along with Trinity’s has been a tragedy for the school.
“When we lose students in any fashion it is traumatic, whether you knew the student or not,” said Kelly.
During class Wednesday, Kelly visited Kylee’s classmates in band and gave them a chance to share their memories and discuss what happened with each other.
“We moved some of our counselors and social workers to that specific area because that’s where they felt most comfortable,” Kelly said. That’s where they were a family.”
Students who were not in band with Kylee wrote notes to the Whitson family expressing their condolences and memories.
“I’ve seen written statements over and over of the joy and happiness that she brought people just with her presence,” said Kelly.
The notes will be given to Kylee’s family by TCHS faculty.
Grief services are also available for teachers who need help processing these losses.
Most important, Kelly said, it’s OK for those who lose a loved one to not be OK.
Anyone who needs additional counseling resources has options, Kelly said, including:
- Crisis Text Line: Text “Connect” to 741741
- Birmingham Crisis Line: 205-323-7777
- Crisis Teen Link: 205-328-5465
- The National Hope Line Network: 1-800-442-4673