06/17/14 — Brogden Primary student drowns

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Brogden Primary student drowns

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on June 17, 2014 1:46 PM

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Jamarcus Graham

A 7-year-old boy who drowned in a Durham swimming pool over the weekend was a student at Brogden Primary School.

Jamarcus Graham was found floating face down in a pool in the Brightleaf community Saturday afternoon.

He died Sunday morning at Duke University Hospital.

Durham police responded to the call on Copper Leaf Parkway. According to reports, there were no lifeguards on duty at the time.

Police said the youth was at the pool for a party and had been brought there by a guardian.

Only later was his identity made public and school officials released a photo and additional information.

Brogden Principal Youlanda Wynn said that she had notified teachers and staff at the school that the drowning victim had been one of their own.

"All of them have been incredibly heartbroken," she said Monday afternoon. "He was really a sweet child, incredibly sweet. He would be exiting first grade. He was a rising second-grader this year."

The tragedy comes just days after students were dismissed for the summer.

Ms. Wynn said she and Jamarcus' teacher, Debbie Parrott, had made a home visit to pay their respects to his mother.

Jamarcus had three other siblings, his principal said. In addition to a baby sister, his two older sisters had also been students at Brogden Primary. One had just completed fourth grade and would be in middle school in the fall, while the other will be entering third grade.

Ms. Wynn and his teachers had only glowing comments to make about their former student.

"He would just hop out of the car line every morning, just happy to be here," Ms. Wynn said. "He was really one of my really good students, who always light up your day with their smiles. You never had to talk to them about behavior."

His teacher, as well as instructional assistant, Jeneen Moore, also commented about that perpetual smile.

"It was like his eyes would light right up," Ms. Parrott said.

"He was quiet but when you saw him, when he knew you were looking, he would smile and you couldn't help but smile back," added Ms. Moore.

Math and science were his favorite subjects and he seemed to take his studies seriously, his teacher said. And he loved superheroes.

"We would have show and tell and almost always he would have a book or something connected to the Hulk or Spider-Man," Ms. Parrott said, adding, "He will be greatly missed."

-- The Associated Press contributed to this story