An even stronger heart: Over 700 students come together to create memorial for Bennett Jones

School shows supports for Bennett Jones

LEESBURG, Ga. (WALB) - Many hearts were heavy Friday as people continue to remember the life of 8-year-old Bennett Jones.

Bennett underwent surgery in July for a heart transplant.

Bennett was diagnosed with critical aortic stenosis before birth.
Bennett was diagnosed with critical aortic stenosis before birth.

His teachers and classmates at Lee County Primary School showed their love for Bennett Friday.

A Lee County Primary school second grader, Bennett was loved by everyone he met.

The school’s principal and assistant principal shared their views on the school’s effort of coming together for a picture.

“Bennett has taught us how to be a fighter through anything in life. He has been sick his whole life and he came to school and he fought through his illness,” Jaime Murdock, Lee County Primary School assistant principal, said.

Assistant Principal Jaimie Murdock and Principal Debbie DeVane
Assistant Principal Jaimie Murdock and Principal Debbie DeVane (Source: WALB)

“We knew we wanted to make a picture, we did this with our last child that passed away. She passed away with cancer. We made a ribbon for her,” Debbie Devane, Lee County Primary School principal, said.

Over 700 students and teachers all came together to show support for Bennett by not just wearing red, but building him a heart.

“My teachers, my kids, it’s just unbelievable the love that is in this school. That’s what we are doing today, we are showing our love for Bennett and his family,” Devane said.

Murdock said the elementary school doesn’t just see kids as students but as family.

“At Lee County Primary, we love hard and we teach hard," Murdock said. “We know that if we love the kids, they will learn. You can see that represented in the way these families have reached out and they all have on red today or their ‘Team Bennett’ shirts. It is pretty emotional to see the love we have here.”

Lee County Primary School students and staff making a heart for Bennett Jones.
Lee County Primary School students and staff making a heart for Bennett Jones. (Source: WALB)

Both administrators said that the family would be excited for the students’ involvement.

“I am sure they will be speechless,” Murdock said.

Said Devane: “They would want to go hug each one of these children, that’s the way it is."

DeVane said they will continue to have a bond with Bennett’s family.

“They are an unbelievable family that we have established a great relationship with. Everybody in the community has reached out to help them,” DeVane said.

Lee County Primary School will now give out its “Kindhearted Award” in memory of Jones.

Jones passed away after having a heart transplant this summer.

The school gives the award every Friday to students in each classroom.

The student has to possess characteristics like kindness, team work, being cooperative and an eagerness to lean.

The school said the award will now be given in Bennett’s memory because he possessed all the qualities of a great leader and kind person.

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