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Classmates say last goodbye to Tyvone Washington
PORT ARTHUR-By: Leslie Rangel
Students and teachers at Booker T. Washington Elementary in Port Arthur celebrated the life of 10-year-old classmate Tyvone Washington.
He died two weeks ago trying to cross Highway 69 near Central Mall in Port Arthur.
Friends of Washington bid their last goodbyes on the playground steps.
Teaching goes on at Booker T. Washington Elementary in Port Arthur.
The empty seat in the classroom serves as a hard reminder of the friend they lost, 10 -year-old Tyvone Washington.
Outside the classroom, students begin to file onto the playground with balloons.
This is a ceremony of remembering, releasing and celebrating, said one of the teachers.
Big kids and little kids stood near the playground.
"We always used to play basketball," one of Tyvone's friend's said.
"He would smile and all you could see was his white teeth," another told us.
"It feels like a piece is missing," Melodie Allen, his homeroom teacher said.
He touched everyone's heart out here.
"He had a way of smiling at you, like all those kids say, that could calm you down," Raymond Thomas, Washington's coach said.
"It hurted because he going to be gone forever, can't do nothing about it because he's in a safe place," Washington's 4th grade friend said.
The words of a poem resonate in these little hearts.
Be not burden with sorrow, look for sunshine of tomorrow.
A quiet moment, gathering balloons, preparing to release the pain.
"I say keep that big smile on your face because it always cheer everybody up," Cydney Jones, another friend says.
The school says it will keep Tyvone's school basketball jersey above a trophy case in his honor.