Westfield High School Mourns Upon Hearing of Student's Death Yesterday
Thursday, January 17, 2013 • 10:15pm
WESTFIELD, NJ— Friends of Mark Hollaway, the ninth-grade Westfield High School student who passed away Wednesday, have created a Facebook page in his memory. Friends wrote “RIP Mark Hollaway 1998-2013. You'll never be forgotten. We know you're in a better place, but selfishly, we wish you were all here with us. We love you Mark.”
Though the school district is still tight-lipped about the child’s passing, Westfield Public Schools Spokesperson Lorre Korecky confirmed to TAP that Westfield High School was notified today of the off-campus death yesterday of one of its students.
“We extend our heartfelt sympathy to the family, and we respect the privacy of the family at this very difficult time,” she told TAP.
WHS parents told TAP that Hollaway had been out sick with the flu, which had led to pneumonia. The Westfield Board of Health is investigating if the flu was the cause of Hollaway’s death.
Flu vaccinations are not mandatory for students attending Westfield High School, though students exhibiting symptoms are required to stay home.
Parents are expressing frustration this evening that the district has sent them no information regarding Hollaway’s death, while many are helping their own children cope with the loss of their friend and classmate.
In a statement, Westfield High School Principal Peter Renwick told the media, “My heart goes out to the student’s family and friends. Our teachers and counselors are ready to provide support and guidance to classmates as we grieve this loss together.”