LT students overcrowd halls for Kobe Bryant memorial

Ryan Whelton, Freelance writer

LT students at South Campus held a memorial to mourn the death of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna Bryant; however, it started to get out of hand, so faculty members had to intervene.

“I chose to go to the memorial because I was really upset about the passing of Kobe and thought it was an easy way to honor a legend,” Emily Claesson ‘22 said. “What I wasn’t expecting at all was the crowd. I was under the impression it would be a small gathering having a moment of silence.”

The memorial was held on Jan. 30 in cross hall during the passing period between fifth and sixth period. There were so many kids that participated that it overflowed into neighboring hallways as well, Claesson said. 

“I went into the cross hall and assumed nothing was happening, but within 10 seconds I was swarmed by people and crushed in a huge crowd,” Claesson said. “There was a mass of people blocking the halls, jumping around chanting Kobe’s name.”

Students participated in the memorial as a way to honor the basketball legend, but this created an unsafe environment in the hallway. Maintenance staff surrounded the scene to try to stop the chaos from evolving into a more dangerous situation. The staff ordered the students to go to class, despite that they did not listen or move, Claesson said. 

Bryan Radavich, the assistant principal for the class of ‘22, was working in his office when the memorial started, although he ran out to disperse the crowd gathered in the cross hall once he heard the commotion. Although the memorial went against guidelines to maintain a safe learning environment, no students involved were punished, Radavich said. 

“Our goal here at LT is not to punish students, but to provide a safe and orderly learning environment for them,” Radavich said.

The memorial information started as a post on the social media platform, Snapchat, word quickly spread throughout both the freshman and sophomore classes. 

“I heard it through a freshman’s Snapchat stories as well as my friends telling me to go,” Claesson said. “Nobody expected the turn out.”