A Georgia ninth grade student died while on a high school trip to a Belize wildlife sanctuary on Feb. 13.
The North Cobb High School student, 14-year-old Tomari Aliijah Jackson, was hiking and swimming while visiting the Monkey Bay Wildfire Sanctuary in Belize before he disappeared, WXIA reports.
It was later confirmed he reportedly died in an accident. No further details revealing the exact nature of his death have been revealed as of Feb. 16.
"The students were having a great time. They had just arrived that day, when the accident occurred," said Dr. Angela Huff, Chief of Staff, Cobb County School District.
It was the fourth year the school had sent the children to the area, she explained. The trip was meant to be an educational experience for the 32 magnet program students.
Instead, it ended early after the school excursion turned into a tragedy.
“School district officials have been in contact with families of students on the trip and local authorities in Belize. Working in collaboration with the United States Embassy, travel arrangements have been made to return students and chaperones to Atlanta,” Cobb County School District Superintendent Chris Ragsdale said.
The community is shocked by the death and mourn the loss of the boy.
“On behalf of our entire school district, I offer my sincere condolences to Tomari’s family. We are deeply saddened by the loss of this talented North Cobb High School scholar and musician. Our immediate priority at this time is caring for and supporting his family and all the students, families, and school staff impacted by this tragic event,” Ragdale added.
Meanwhile, Dr. Huff said, "I understand from [Tomari's] teachers that he had a great sense of humor. He did play flute in the concert band and [was] just an all-around great student.”
Students agreed, The Atlantic Journal-Constitution reports, with fellow classmate Bahaar Esfahani adding, “His sense of humor was weird, but it was funny. The sarcastic sense of humor. He didn’t talk much, but when he did, you could definitely tell it was Tomari.”