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Fairview Middle School mourning death of teacher, coach

Emotional moments were had Tuesday at Gene Cox Stadium in Tallahassee as the Fairview Middle School football team honored one of their own.
Published: Sep. 28, 2021 at 7:44 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Emotional moments were had Tuesday at Gene Cox Stadium in Tallahassee as the Fairview Middle School football team honored one of their own following a sudden and tragic loss.

The school confirmed one of its teachers passed away following a medical emergency inside the school Monday. That teacher, Germaine Harley, was also part of the football team’s coaching staff.

The crowd on Tuesday was seemingly still in shock trying to process the loss. As the team took the field, a moment of silence and a balloon release took place.

“He was a wonderful person,” said Twan Jackson, a team parent. She helped organize the balloons.

“I was at home when my son texted me,” she said. “I couldn’t believe it. I think I took it harder than the kids did.”

Tuesday’s game was scheduled for just 24 hours after Harley’’s sudden death. Harley is the fourth member of the Leon County school district family lost since the start of the school year.

Each time, parents and students are left dealing with incredible trauma.

The district had grief counselors at Fairview on Tuesday.

Karen Lockard, a grief counselor from Lee’s Place says its vital kids have a chance to honor and reflect.

“They also need an opportunity to honor the person in a way that fits with their developmental age and stage, whether that’s planting a tree in their honor or attending a service or memorial,” she said.

As for the parents, she said to try to be there for your kid, not just asking them how they’re feeling, but also during the quiet times in case they want to open up.

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