LOGANSPORT, LA (KSLA) - Hundreds of people gathered Tuesday evening to honor the Logansport High student who drowned the previous day in the Sabine River.
"It's all about us lifting up our friend that we lost," one speaker told the crowd in the school gym.
"We love you and we honor you ..." another speaker said.
Javier "JD" Simpson, 15, accidentally drowned just after noon Monday in the waters along the Logansport riverfront.
Since then, school leaders say, it's been a fine line between supporting the teenager's family members and giving them time to mourn.
"Just give them some space and let them know that we're here and available for them to talk with when they're ready," DeSoto schools Superintendent Clay Corley said.
"And that's kinda the difficult part right now. Just give them that space but to let them know that you love them and that you're here for them."
The vigil was the second gathering that day in Simpson's memory.
That morning, about 100 students were joined by Corley, coaches, pastors, counselors and sheriff's deputies to pray and come together at Logansport High, said Mark Pierce, of the DeSoto Sheriff's Office.
Simpson's funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday on the same campus.
It will be preceded by his wake from 6-7 p.m. Friday at Travelers Rest Baptist Church.