“Somebody’s got to be there for them, and Matthew was like that for his peers.”

– Darlene Scott, Matthew Carter’s psychology teacher

LAFAYETTE, LA — Wednesday morning Matthew Carter’s classmates, teachers, and coaches learned about his death. He died from his injuries, the victim of a shooting and armed robbery. A 13 and 14-year-old were arrested with 1st-degree murder charges.

“The whole Spartan family is grieving because we’re a family, and we lost one,” said Darlene Scott, Matthew Carter’s psychology teacher.

Today, during the time she would normally teach him, she got an email she will never forget. Her students read her face, hoping for good news, but realized their classmate was gone.

“They would say, “It’s such a waste He didn’t deserve this. He had a future, and it was taken away, and it made them realize that life could be short,” Scott recalled.

Over a dozen guidance counselors entered the classroom according to Scott. She lit candles and students gathered around Carter’s decorated desk to share stories of the most likable guy they knew.

“He was a friend,” Scott said. “He didn’t know a stranger. Everybody was a friend. It didn’t matter. 9th grade, 10th grade, 11th grade, 12th grade. It didn’t matter. If he saw somebody sad, it was unacceptable. He had to go give them that big bear hug, and he loved solving everybody’s problems.”

Scott’s classroom made a poster Tuesday and she brought it to the hospital that night. She shared a final moment with Carter before making 250 stickers that say “#31 Strong Mattew Carter We love you” in support of his family.

Scott shared very personal moments of her final one-way conversation in the hospital. She fixed Carter’s hair, waiting for him to tell her to stop. She asked him if he owed him a dollar for the snack he “borrowed” of her desk.

She told him the story students were telling back at school, but not all of them loud enough for his parents to hear, “I just held his hand, and I talked to him. It’s all I could do, hug the mom and the dad, because as a teacher the kids are my kids, I just feel like they are mine.”

Scott said the entire school is mourning Mattew Carter’s loss in different ways. Some students are making bracelets, shirts, jackets, even cupcakes to give out in his memory. Her 250 stickers were taken quickly Tuesday, so she made 1,250 more to return with Wednesday.

Scott had so much to share about Matthew Carter. He cared about his grades, planning to study radiology in college. He loved food, often meeting people by asking if they were going to finish a snack.

She says she is going to leave his desk decorated for the rest of the semester, so students can feel his presence there, “Such a great loss,” Scott said, “It’s just going to be a big hole in the class.”