Silent School This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   It was Friday, September 13, the end of the first ifull week of school. It was supposed to be an exciting and joyous day, but it wasn't. Instead it was a day full of sorrow. The sudden death of one of Westford Academy's best and most liked teachers, Mr. Shepherd, stunned the teachers and the students.

The hallways, which the day before were filled with happy and excited teenagers, were now filled with grief. There was a really awkward feeling in the school. The teachers didn't know what to say to the students and the students didn't know what to say to them or each other.

The school was so quiet it was almost scary. The sound of people sobbing filled the school. The faculty members were whispering, trying to decide what to do with the classes and students. Even lunch was quiet. Some students went around the cafeteria collecting money for a scholarship under Mr. Shep-herd's name (which has since reached over fifteen hundred dollars). Other students talked quietly trying to figure out exactly what had happened the afternoon before on the football field, while others talked about anything to forget what they had to deal with.

Some teachers carried on class as normal, while others had class discussions about what had happened. Some students cried while others acted as if nothing had happened. The truth was that everyone was just trying to deal with Mr. Shepherd's death in the best possible way that they knew.

The soccer and football games, which were scheduled for Friday and Saturday nights went on, but not without a moment of silence for Mr. Shepherd. Some Westford Academy athletic teams have gotten special armbands to wear during their games in memory of him.

Some students had known Mr. Shepherd ever since he taught at the Norman E. Day School, while others had just met him a week before. Whether the students had known him for five years or just one week, it was made abundantly clear Friday that anyone who knew him, liked him very, very much. Some of the students and faculty have made plans to attend the wake and the funeral the following week.

Westford Academy lost an outstanding and involved teacher Thursday afternoon. It's obvious that neither the teachers nor students will ever forget Mr. Shepherd. I think this whole experience has made everyone realize how much they can miss a single person's existence. n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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