Selma mayor, SCS superintendent react to death of Selma High student

Published 10:38 am Wednesday, November 9, 2022

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The State Bureau of Investigation has joined the Selma Police Department and Dallas County Sheriff’s Office in investigating the death of a 16-year male student who died Tuesday at Selma High School. Three other students were taken to the hospital, though the official cause of their illness has not yet been released.

State law prohibits the names of the victim and the other students who were taken to the hospital from being released because they are minors. Selma Police Captain Natasha Fowlkes and Dallas County District Attorney Michael Jackson said that they are waiting on toxicology reports to determine the student’s cause of death and what led the other three students to get taken to the hospital.

In a press release late Tuesday afternoon, Selma City Schools Superintendent Zickeyous Byrd called it a sad day for Selma High School.

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“As a community, we are deeply saddened by the death of this young scholar,” Byrd said. “We ask for prayers for the young man’s family, the faculty, staff, and students of Selma High School as we all continue to grieve. This is such a shock for our Saints Nation family.”

Selma Mayor James Perkins Jr. issued a press release Wednesday morning on the matter, saying the Selma City School System has the full support of the city and state.

“Truly yesterday (Tuesday) was a tragic day in Selma, we lost another child and several children needed emergency care at the hospital,” Perkins said. “There is nothing easy about losing a child and the agony of sitting in an ER waiting to find out whether your child will be okay is a pain no parent should endure.”

Perkins continued: “To the family, schoolmates, and friends of the deceased, know that your mayor has a heavy heart and grieves with you. Because the deceased is a juvenile, I will not mention him by name, just know that his death is very close to me. I considered him a son.”

Perkins said that he, law enforcement, and Selma City Schools would eventually share more information surrounding the situation with the public. He urged against making assumptions.

“Jumping to conclusions or making unproven statements may interfere with the investigation,” Perkins said. “I ask that we not do that. In the meantime, let us continue in prayer for the family, all of our children, and the entire community.”