Community mourns loss of Dade Co. High student - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Community mourns loss of Dade Co. High student

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A local high school community is feeling the loss of one of their most-beloved students. The 17-year-old was a senior at Dade County High School. Wednesday, administration at the school is lending support and comfort to the young man's classmates and family.

Seventeen-year-old Stephen McCormick was a popular senior at Dade County High School. He died Tuesday after taking his own life. While his friends are remembering him, Dade County High's principal says it opens the door to speak with students about the difficult topic.

"Certainly, no one expected this," says Dade County High School principal Josh Ingle.

An outpouring of love surrounds the classmates and family of 17-year-old Dade County High senior Stephen McCormick. 

"The community coming together to provide support to our students has been amazing," says Ingle.

Ingle says the community is saddened by the sudden loss of Stephen, who who passed away from suicide Tuesday. 

"We're extremely sensitive to this tragedy."

Stephen was part of a close-knit senior class of just 160 students.

"He was a football player. I attended a lot of the games, stood on the sidelines to be around the kids. He's a great, great kid," says Ingle.

He says you could always count on Stephen for a smile.

"Just smiling, cutting up. Just fun to be around."

Principal Ingle says the school is providing as much support as possible, bringing in counselors and local ministers. Tuesday night, the school opened its doors to let students grieve.

"Probably close to 200 kids hanged out last night in the gym. One of our teachers took a big roll of paper, laid it out on the floor and just let the kids start journaling."

Along with his classmates, he asks the community to pray for Stephen's family. 

"Not only do we want to provide the support for our students, we're here to support the family as well," says Ingle.

Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.

If you or someone you know has thoughts of suicide there is help 24-7.

You can call the National Suicide Lifeline at 1 (800) 273-8255 or visit their website

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