SAN SABA, Texas – San Saba schools are in mourning Monday after a middle school student, 13-year-old Taylor Berkley, was one of three victims who died in a stabbing attack early Friday morning.
Grief counselors have been offered at each school in the district both Friday and Monday. Administrators say they have seen students from every age group take advantage of the free counseling.
The loss has been especially tough for San Saba Middle School teachers, whom Berkley became extremely close with. Some of the teachers even pooled money together to help her family with Christmas presents.
For Superintendent Wayne Kelly, this is not uncommon for this small but tight-knit community.
“It’s compassion outside of the classroom,” says Kelly. “They went above and beyond for this young lady [Berkley] to help care for her and to maybe be there for her when sometimes her family couldn’t be there for her, and so they became an extended family to that young lady.”
When Berkley’s grandmother heard about the stabbing, she told one of her granddaughter’s teachers first.
Police have arrested 22-year-old Anthony Wayne Pierce for evading arrest, and he is a person of interest in this case.
For the schools, Kelly says the staff has been praying over each other and the students as they do every Monday. He also hopes the high school’s basketball teams will be a source of pride and healthy distraction as they try to advance in the state tournament Monday night.