NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Sixteen students have died this school year compared to 36 last school year according to Metro School officials.
The causes of student deaths range from shootings to natural causes. Tuesday night Thomas Howard, a Maplewood High School student, was shot and killed.
According to Metro Police, the suspect was Kevon Mayberry, another student at the Bass Learning Center who was not in custody as of Wednesday.
Howard’s stepmother said a vigil will be held on Friday at 5p.m. at the Fallbrook Apartment Complex.
Psychologists, grief counselors, and other experts were on site at Maplewood High School.
On January 15th, Jose Luis Gutierrez was shot and killed when a gun went off in a car. Gutierrez went to Glencliff High School.
16-year-old Jazmine Wheeler was arrested. She told police she was handing a gun to him when it went off.
Loved ones posted a photo of Gutierrez to a Go Fund Me page.
As teachers and students mourn, school officials tell me the crisis team has been running non-stop.
Doctor Toney Majors said, "We're really looking at how trauma, how adverse experiences are affecting youth and providing training to our adults so they know how to recognize, how to respond. But most importantly, make sure we have the staffing and people in place so that they can sponsor this child that is dealing with trauma or an adverse experience such as a student death."
Dr. Majors said they need parents and the community to help them during this time.
Majors said, "I think as a city we have to make a decision. How important is it for us as adults to provide the type of life experience for our young people that leads them on to positive, making positive decision, knowing how to interact, and avoid the type of contact that is leading to violence and death today."