Last year, we received an inflammatory email from a community member who felt that an opinion piece on vaccines needed to address the opposing arguments more. This is how we responded. We remained neutral and respectful.
This is a story I wrote about my friend who died in a car accident last year. Because I was close with her, it was not ideal for me to write the story, but my adviser picked me to do it because he knew I could be respectful in my interviews. I remained unbiased, and it is the most meaningful story I have ever written and probably will ever write.
“This Little Light of Mine” rang out through the crowd of hundreds in the junior parking lot at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 14, as students lit candles and laid down flowers in remembrance of senior Alexis (Lexie) Moffitt, who was killed in a car accident on Monday, Nov. 12.
Kennedy Fletcher, sophomore and sister of Moffitt, planned the event. She and some of Moffitt’s friends shared some of their favorite memories, prayed and sang, while huddled around Moffitt’s parking spot.
“Alexis loved one thing so much, and it was fellowship. So I thought gathering her friends, my friends and just people who went to school with her to discuss and pray and talk to God would be a really good thing for her,” Fletcher said. “Alexis would have wanted us to have been together, no matter who we were, no matter what group we were a part of. She would have wanted us to have been together, and I feel like we need to honor her by setting aside our differences and being together.”
Students, teachers and parents came to the morning gathering and said it was a representation of the impact Moffitt made on the school and community.
“Kennedy [Fletcher] led the prayer, and she was so strong about it,” junior Gracie Merrill said. “She read verses about hope, and I think that gave everyone hope. There was such a big turnout, and it shows how much everyone loved Lexie.”
Another way students are planning to honor Moffitt is through the dance program. Moffitt was in the second period honors dance class, and that class is planning on remembering her at the annual dance concert in January 2019.
“Lexie had taught the choreography that she had come up with so far for her dance already,” dance teacher Elizabeth Creamer said. “So as a tribute to her, the class would like to finish the dance and put it in the concert.”
During their grieving processes, some students have said they have learned valuable lessons through the tragedy, such as senior Caroline Corn.
“It’s definitely helped us realize how dangerous driving can be. I know a bunch of my friends talked the morning after we found out, and we drove [to school] with no music, 10 miles under the speed limit. It really opened our eyes to how dangerous driving can be,” Corn said. “It makes you realize how you take the little things your friends do for you for granted. I think it’s opening people’s eyes about appreciating everything in their life before it’s gone.”
The most important lesson, according to Merrill, is that the students should come together more often and spread kindness wherever they go.
“It really shows how much you need your friends in these times,” Merrill said. “This was a horrible thing that happened, but it shows how small drama is and how you don’t want the last thing you say to someone to be something hurtful.”
Over the course of the past two days, guidance counselors from schools all over the county, teachers, administrators and the student body have come together to uplift one another.
“Our students, staff and community are coming together to support and love each other during this time. Our thoughts and prayers are with Lexie’s family and friends as they mourn the loss of this wonderful young lady,” Principal Shannon Auten said.
Visitation will be Friday, Nov. 16 at Groce Funeral Home on Long Shoals Road in Arden from 6-8 p.m., and the funeral will also take place at Groce, at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 17 with a graveside service immediately following at Hooper’s Creek Church. Fletcher said the family is encouraging attendees to wear maroon in Moffitt’s honor.