MATTHEWS, N.C. — Additional security will be in place at all Matthews schools as students at Butler High School return to class for the first time Thursday since a classmate was shot in one of the school’s hallway.
The Matthews police chief is expected to spend the day at Butler High School as well.
These measures are meant to reassure students following the fatal shooting in a hallway of the school on Monday.
Eyewitness News reporter Glenn Counts talked to a psychologist about the range of emotions students will face.
“It’s a really heavy thing dealing with death at a young age,” therapist Justin Perry said.
On Monday, Jatwan Cuffie, 16, allegedly shot Bobby McKeithen, 16, at the school. McKeithen later died at the hospital, police said. The deadly shooting stemmed from a previous fight, police said.
(From left: McKeithen, Cuffie)
Perry said 30 percent of his clients are teens 14 years old and older.
The district will have counselors and police at all Matthews schools.
“Even for the folks who aren’t scared sometimes, when you get there, your body may tense up and I imagine it may be tough to concentrate for a lot of kids tomorrow,” Perry said.
Perry expects tempers to be short tomorrow and students to have trouble concentrating.
“There are just so many emotions, and anger is the one that tends to come out easiest,” Perry said.
Parents should expect a range of emotions as students return to school.
“Maybe establish kind of a plan with your child,” Perry said. “For some kids, maybe they do want that constant check-in.”
Perry said it's important not to put a time limit on grief.
Cuffie was arrested and charged with first-degree murder.
Thursday night, there will be a candlelight service for McKeithen.
Several groups will meet at Camp Greene Park on Allegheny Street at 7 p.m.
McKeithen's arrangements are as follows:
- Visitation: Saturday at noon
- Services: Saturday at 1 p.m.
- Location: Progressive Baptist Church, 1600 Clanton Road, Charlotte, N.C. 28208
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