Students raise money for killed classmates
By Stacey Cameron, NEWS 9
WELEETKA, OKLA. -- The crime that has shocked a small community, a state and a nation is bringing a school closer together.
Taylor Paschal-Placker and Skyla Whitaker's classmates at Graham Public School in Weleetka are banding together to raise funds for the girls' funerals.
Wanting to help the girls' families with the funeral costs, Taylor and Skyla's classmates are making signs and selling T-shirts imprinted with the girls' names. The children hope to raise enough money to pay for the funerals.
"It shows we care for them," classmate Destiny Smith said.
The classmates are selling T-shirts for $10 a piece at the school.
As the children talk about their lost friends, they tell tales of smiles and laughter.
"We like them as our really best friends," Destiny said.
The girls are repeatedly called nice and fun. Taylor was also at the top of her 6th-grade class. Skyla was known for her laugh being the "best in school."
"Their smiles; they were always smiling," classmate Brian Smith said.
"They were real fun to be with, real nice," Jaycee Weeks said.
Losing those smiles and laughter around school has been difficult for some, they said.
"At first I thought it was a joke because it was so unbelievable," Jaycee said. "It's just been really hard not being able to talk to them."
If you're interested in donating to help fund the girls' funerals, contact the Bank of Commerce in Weleetka. Donations are being accepted for the families in Taylor and Skyla's names.
Funeral arrangements have been made for Friday. Click here for more information on their funerals.
Investigators are asking for any help in this case. If you know anything, call the OSBI tip line at 1-800-522-8017.