CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Students at Stonewall Jackson Middle School in Charleston are dealing with the death of a classmate. The 15-year-old boy died Sunday afternoon when he drowned in a Jackson County lake during an outing with a church group.

Stonewall Principal Jessica Austin said they brought in experts to help the student body begin the grieving process.

Courtesy WSAZ-TV

Shawn Jones, Jr.

“A team has been assembled to meet with our students and talk about their grief and work through it with them,” explained Austin.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Department identified the victim as Shawn Jones, Jr.

He was kayaking on a lake at Parchment Valley Baptist Retreat Center near Ripley when the boat filled with water. Jones was not wearing a life vest. Despite several attempts to save him, the teen drowned. His body was found at the bottom of the 12-foot lake three hours later. He was with a group of youth and adults from Emmanuel Baptist Church in Charleston.

Austin said it’s a tough loss for teachers and staff and especially students.

“(The students) are going through a lot of different things. This is not something you want to deal with at this young in your life,” stressed the principal. “But they are strong and they’re working through their feelings and emotions and coming together as a family.”

Austin said grief counselors would remain at the school as long as they are needed. This is the last week of the school year in Kanawha County.

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  • Alexis

    This had been the third day he was gone from his family and this is sad all I've been thinking about is him my family and I think we should sing all of me at his candle light at stonewall the part when it goes like this my heads under water but im breathing fine but he was not breathing fine sorry Shawn Jones Jr. and to his family.

  • James

    Shawn was a great student. He was very funny and this is so sad something like this would happen
    We know your in a better place and god takes all children to heaven hopefully when I die I will see you there

    • Alexis


  • Roniesha

    R.I.P we all love you and we wish you could've stayed but were srry you dided.

  • chloe ivy

    I know shawn hr was dateing my cousin everyone in school cryed today in da lost,of shawn he was a good kid,funny crazy and a dare devil rip shawn hes the best :-(

  • John

    This report is such a tragedy for a young person to lose their life like this. My condolences goes out to his family....But why in the name of God did the adults who was responsible for this youth, allow him to be on the water without a life jacket on? Someone should be charged with child neglect and the lack of common sense...

    • griff

      Unfortunately you can't fix lack of common sense. That is something people do not have any longer. Yes I agree that someone should be charged with neglect. But, even sadder is the lack of spelling skills as I tried to read the other comments. What is going on in school in WV schools? All you hear from teachers is how low their pay is. Why should they get paid anything, it doesn't appear they are teaching kids how to read or write.

  • Alexis Sims

    I feel bad for his family and friends and this week it's the last day of school when I heard about it I couldn't eat last night I cried last night I'm in elementary school which is Je. robins I'm In a 5th grade to bout too be in middle school Jeff biddle he's the one who took them he wanted them which is the kids to have a fun summer he ain't mean for that to happen so family friends also teachers plzzzzzz. Forgive him remember what I said he didn't mean for that to happen R.I.P Shawn Jones Jr. Even I don't know you that well I love you as a friend :( sad face :/ half smile and family sorry for your lost. :,' crying.....

  • Millie Casto

    Prayres to the family and friends of this young man.