Community mourns after death of Bradley Hills Elementary School student


Emily London

A poster hangs in the main hallway with signatures from Whitman students sending their support. The poster will be sent to Bradley Hills Elementary School for the students in mourning.

By Emily London

Members of the community are grieving after a fourth-grader at Bradley Hills Elementary School student passed away Dec. 12 when her school bus hit her. She was a beloved student at her school.

“Her teachers and other students just loved her,” Bradley Hills parent Rochelle Fink said. “She was a very sweet, very nice girl. Another parent told me about the time when her daughter was sitting on a bench by herself and this girl came to sit with her so she wouldn’t be lonely.”

To help her classmates cope, counselors from Pyle and Whitman were dispatched to the school. Along with Bradley Hills counselors, they were available all day Dec. 13 to support students.

In the main hallway at Whitman, many students, like junior Nina Madeddu, have signed a poster to send messages of support to Bradley Hills. 

“Whenever someone passes, it affects everyone in the community,” Madeddu said. “It’s important to show our support to that school, especially because most of those students will be coming here when they are older.”

To honor the student, the Whitman boys basketball team will dedicate their season to her. At the home opener Friday, the team held a moment of silence to pay respect.

“When I first heard the story about what happened, I was devastated,” basketball coach Christopher Lun said. “Dedicating the season feels like something small that we could do to help her memory live on.”

The accident was one of two MCPS traffic-related incidents in less than 24 hours. A car hit a Walter Johnson High School senior as he was boarding his bus Dec. 13, sending him to the hospital with severe injuries. The incidents have prompted MCPS officials to review bus stop safety.

Police are still investigating the cause of the crash and will release further details soon.