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Schools respond as middle school boy dies

School officials say an Oak Harbor Middle School student has died, a week after collapsing at his home last Monday.

Eighth-grader Bryan Matthews, 13, passed away Saturday at Seattle Children’s Hospital. In a brief obituary, the family cited natural causes.

Students were informed of Matthews’ condition at the different schools last week, spokesperson Joe Hunt said.

“At Oak Harbor Middle School, they made a big banner for him, and it was hung in his hospital room,” Hunt said.

Monday morning, counselors and youth pastors were called into the middle school to meet with students who needed their service. The library was reserved for the whole day.

“Yesterday was pretty emotional, and I was told the library was crowded,” Hunt said.

The day was an opportunity for counseling or discussion, or for students to talk with other kids for a while, Hunt added.

There was talk of a memorial service at the school, but it isn’t yet known if that will occur.

School officials had a moment of silence for the boy at Monday night’s school board meeting.

Bryan, who entered the school district in the second grade, is survived by his mother, Yvonne Matthews. A fund was created to help pay for the family’s expenses, and donations can be made at Alaska Federal Credit Union, under account number 808553.

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