Tear­ful farewell for ‘vi­brant’ Kyle Grace

Edge­mead pupil, 12, had been se­lected for rugby team

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - NOR­MAN CLOETE

TEACH­ERS and pupils at Edge­mead Pri­mary have said good­bye to one of their own.

Kyle Grace, the Grade 6 pupil who fell to his death at the school last week, was laid to rest yes­ter­day.

Pupils, teach­ing staff, com­mu­nity mem­bers and the bereft fam­ily of 12-year-old Kyle gath­ered at the Edge First Church in Edge­mead for his fu­neral.

Yel­low bal­loons and rib­bons tied around trees served as a painful re­minder of the death.

Kyle died af­ter fall­ing 8m through the ceil­ing of the school. Western Cape Ed­u­ca­tion De­part­ment spokesper­son Jessica Shelver said the boy is be­lieved to have ac­cessed a stair­case be­hind the stage and found his way into the ceil­ing. Paramedics de­clared him dead on ar­rival.

The ris­ing rugby star cele- brated his 12th birth­day on May 17, just eight days be­fore his death.

Kyle was ap­par­ently well­liked for his sense of style and his trendy hairstyles. In a mov­ing trib­ute, school prin­ci­pal, Gregory Stokell de­scribed him as “well-loved and very vi­brant”. He and his fam­ily had re­cently cel­e­brated his se­lec­tion to the school’s A rugby team, ful­fill­ing a dream he had.

The church was packed to the rafters. Pupils were seen em­brac­ing one an­other, other mourn­ers at the fu­neral could not hold back the tears, and their cries could be heard echo­ing through the over­flow­ing hall, next to the main church build­ing.

Ed­u­ca­tion De­part­ment spokesper­son Paddy Atwell said the school has re­ceived tremen­dous sup­port from the de­part­ment’s of­fi­cials, var­i­ous or­gan­i­sa­tions and com- mu­nity mem­bers.

Coun­selling will be pro­vided by the Metro North district for pupils. Two psy­chol­o­gists have also been de­ployed.

The Em­ployee Well­ness Pro­gramme is pro­vid­ing coun­selling for teach­ers and Child­line was ad­vis­ing teach­ers on how to sup­port pupils.

At­twell said the de­part­ment would also be pro­vid­ing ad­vice about im­prov­ing safety at the school.

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