Harpenden school mourns death of teenage pupil

James Peck

James Peck - Credit: Archant

A SCHOOL community is in mourning after staff and pupils learned of the tragic death of an “exemplary” Year 9 student.

It was announced on Friday that James Peck who studied at Sir John Lawes School in Harpenden had passed away soon after returning from a school trip.

Messages of condolence have flooded in on social networking sites, with pupils posting their memories of the 14 year old and offering sympathies to his devastated family.

One friend, Alice Clothier, said: “RIP James Peck, you were a great friend a great laugh a talented musician and sportsman, you always smiled and you’ll be missed.”

Another friend, Anna Stevens, also wrote on a Facebook tribute site that has over 1,000 likes: “James was a kind, polite, helpful, down to earth and incredibly talented young man who did not deserve to die so young.”

A statement on Sir John Lawes’ website said James had returned from a “very successful” band tour trip to Austria last week, and had been awarded the KS3 music prize for the academic year.

It also read: “James was a Year 9 student fully involved in all school life offers – and was seen by all staff as an exemplary student that followed the SJL ACE [Achievement Care and Excellence] to the full.”

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On Saturday and Monday while the school is currently closed for the summer holidays, it opened its canteen for students to come and pay their respects.

It will also be open from 10am and midday on A-level and GCSE results days, Thursday, August 15, and Thursday, August 22, for anyone wishing to leave flowers or write in remembrance books.

The details of James’ death are not yet known and matters have been passed on to a coroner.