PEARLAND, Texas — The loved ones of a 17-year-old Pearland High School student are laying the teen to rest Thursday morning amid tension between the community and district administrators. The teen's family and classmates have launched a petition demanding a memoriam page be added to the school's yearbook after the student took her own life over the weekend.
Hannah Hollis was a charming and kind-spirited young woman with a heart dedicated to helping others, according to countless condolences from friends and family members. She had dreams of becoming an anesthesiologist and was looking forward to following in the footsteps of her older sisters by going to Texas A&M University in the fall.
The community is heartbroken after the teen decided to end her own life Sunday night and concerned classmates started a petition on Change.org, which the students plan to send to Pearland ISD administrators.
The petition has reached more than 5,000 digital signatures as of Thursday morning.
"The stigmas surrounding mental illness have never been more prevalent in our school than right now. Because of these stigmas we cannot honor our fellow classmate, athlete, and most of all friend," Ericka Chang-Kalandros said in the Charge.org post.
The administration said the decision will take time as the family, staff and student body are still in mourning.
The district released the following statement since the petition started:
"I want to state that there has been no decision made regarding the request for the remembrance Yearbook page. There are many things that need to be considered including and most importantly the family's wishes. I ask that we stay focused on supporting the family at this time and we will address this request at an appropriate time. This is not a decision that must be made today. We remain focused on supporting and praying for the family, friends, loved ones, and Oiler Family as we mourn the loss of such a wonderful person and soul."
The student's sister, Holleigh Hollis, has expressed support for the petition and has shared it on social media.
"Help the yearbook staff to achieve their goal, with permission of her loved ones, by signing this petition, you are not voiceless. Hannah was one of us and we should honor her life regardless of how it ended," Chang-Kalandros said.