Toni Graham, a teacher at Red Bank Middle School, comforts student Kadajyah Smith as she chokes up during a reading for Jonelle Melton, who was killed in September. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)
By DUSTIN RACIOPPI
Just walking into the Red Bank Middle School auditorium Friday night, you could learn a lot about Jonelle Melton. She had a great big smile, loved butterflies, her favorite color was purple and, perhaps above all else, she touched a lot of lives.
And this you could figure out before anybody said a word.
As students, teachers, friends and family entered the middle school for a memorial to Melton, who was killed in September, they were greeted by a placard with butterflies bordering a picture of Melton the same picture that was screened onto T-shirts that teachers and students inside the auditorium wore.
Those who didn’t wear the shirts chose to wear a purple band, Melton’s favorite color, on their left sleeve.