By Beatrice Esteban, Courier Editor-in-Chief
In the wake of the death of a freshman this weekend, James Logan High School officials this morning deployed counselors, psychologists and others to help students and staff deal with their grief.
The school is "mourning the loss of Julian Gutierrez," Logan Principal Amy McNamara said via the school's public address system during first period. "He will be much missed by family and friends."
Later, during the daily bulletin, she called for a moment of silence in the 15-year-old's honor.
"Just the idea of someone being gone is really sad," said Becca Rook, a sophomore. "A lot of people loved him, and it's just really sad."
"I just can't stress enough how lovable he was," said Daniela Castro, a senior and Gutierrez' cousin. "He is sweet and caring. He was never disrespectful. He respected his mom and women in his family so much."
Students made posters from their messages to and
about Julian Gutierrez.
James McDonald/Courier Photo
"He was a respectful kid and he always had a smile on his face," Elijah Cole, a freshman.
"He was just a good guy," said senior Shawn Zavala.
Some students couldn't reconcile the seeming happiness Gutierrez displayed with reports that he took his own life.
"I never thought that people who looked as happy as he did could have such a mask at school. It's really sad," said Carly Jordan, a freshman.
Sophomore Christian Harris said he was confused by Gutierrez' death. "I wouldn't expect him to do that at all. He was a really fun person to hang out with."
Even students who didn't know Gutierrez are profoundly affected by his death.
"I didn't know Julian," said junior Ajani Jimenez. "I'm not sad about it; I'm more angry that it couldn't be stopped."
Others are upset by the public reaction to Gutierrez's death and what his death symbolizes to the Logan community.
"It's really sad that not only is Logan experiencing a loss of a student so young, but others local schools are too," said junior Sukirat Kaur, referencing last year's deaths at Palo Alto High School. "What I didn't like was that there was a mass text saying to wear black and a Facebook page, but no one ever considered whether or not his family wanted that."
"I didn't know him but I felt sad. It just shows what the world is coming to, and I actually cried about it, which is something that I don't usually do. He was too young," said junior Nakrkirat Atwal.
Family and friends have also flooded his Facebook page with condolences and fond memories.
Gutierrez was a member of the James Logan Forensics and soccer teams.
Administrators designated the Spot as a gathering place for students to write and grieve, McNamara wrote in an email to staff.
"Any student can come to the Spot today to express their sorrow or talk with someone. Counselors will be in there all day," said McNamara.
Students gathered in the stadium during second period to mourn for Julian Gutierrez.
Courier Staff Photo