VILLE PLATTE, La. (KLFY) — At Ville Platte high school the memory of Montae lives on, as the entire school stands together to support his classmates and family as they honor their friend.

Members of the community wrote to News 10 to share the feelings throughout the city in the days since Montae’s death.

“The death of our ‘Gentle giant’ Montae has a devastating impact on not only his family, but the community and both Ville Platte high faculty and students. It’s very hard for everyone right now,” said a community member.

Montae’s classmates and basketball teammates have struggled to cope with the tragedy, so VPHS Principal Chenile Tezeno felt it was important to bring everyone together first thing this morning.

“The counselors came, and I just wanted to round everyone up. One of my teachers, Ms. Jazlyn did a poem for hope just for the kids, to uplift them a little bit. We had our coach Devinsky Arvey do a prayer because he was close to monte through football,” said Tezeno.

The school faculty has also spent time with Montae’s mother, to support her and remember the good times with her son.

“We just made jokes about how he would forget his jersey and forget his tennis shoes. We just laughed at those jokes and the little things he would do,” said Tezeno.

And as the entire community looks to move forward, the staff at Ville Platte high school hopes Montae’s lasting legacy will be one of kindness and love.

“He’s not here to shine his own light. But now it’s our turn to see, to shine the light for him so other people can see the impact he made in our lives,” Tezeno said.

Ville Platte high school will also hold a po’boy fundraiser to provide financial support for Montae’s mother.

The fundraiser will take place on Monday Oct. 30 at Trending Topic beginning at 11 a.m.

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