At Carson Elementary School in Puyallup, where 7-year-old Charlie Powell was a first-grader, candles, stuffed animals and other symbols of a school in mourning surrounded a sign near the front entrance.
Marbel Campos and her children, McKenzie and Anthony, a Carson second-grader, placed another candle there.
“It is just devastating,” said Campos, who lives a block from the Powell boys’ grandparents.
Other parents like Damian Davis, whose daughter attends Carson, were unaware that one of the Powell children attended school there.
He said he was shocked by the news.
Inside, staff members gathered together before the start of the school day.
Puyallup School District spokeswoman Karen Hansen said the district was doing what it could to help support students and staff.
She said teachers would try to keep the day as normal as possible for kids.
The district gave teachers a prepared statement to help them talk to kids: “Yesterday Charlie Powell, one of our first grade students, died in a terrible tragedy. He was a nice friendly young man and our Carson family will miss him.”
Neighbors in the Silver Creek area around Carson Elementary may soon be wearing purple ribbons to honor the memory of the Powell children. A local florist has offered to donate them, according to an online posting.