Mount Vernon in mourning: 16-year-old Kayla Green remembered at makeshift memorial
The Mount Vernon community is in mourning after the fatal stabbing of 16-year-old Kayla Green.
On Friday, Green was at the citywide celebration for the state-title-winning boys basketball team when she was stabbed to death.
On Sunday, people took time to remember the sophomore JV cheer captain at a makeshift memorial. Some described Green as "an energetic person" and "she was like my little sister.” Classmate Amanda Outen describes Green as being “nice to everyone” and “very caring.”
“She always looked out for her friends,” said Outen.
Her team at Mount Vernon High School said Green always carried herself with elegance and poise. She had plans to attend Morgan State to study nursing.
MORE: 'She always looked out for her friends.' Mount Vernon residents mourn teenage girl killed in stabbing
Green's best friend, who has not been named, was also stabbed. The injured girl’s mother Nicole Duncan told News 12 that her daughter “will never be the same.”
“This is Westchester County. This should've have happened here," Duncan said.
Rep. Jamaal Bowman said he wants to know how this could’ve been prevented and everyone must work together to keep it from happening again.
“As a father, educator and former school principal, I know that many of our kids are hurting. Our community must rally to be violence interrupters,” according to a statement from Bowman.
Mount Vernon superintendent Kenneth Hamilton has acknowledged the uptick in school violence and mental health issues. He said the school board has approved hiring more clinicians to provide mental health services for students and hopes to have hotlines up and running within the next couple of days.
Hamilton said not to "blame our city...our police...our parents."
"What we want to do is come together as a community, " said Hamilton. "Try to get our arms around what's bothering our children so much that violence is so prevalent and their default."
In an effort to help students feel safe, Hamilton said Mount Vernon High School has hired more security guards and installed metal detectors.
The 15-year-old girl accused of the stabbing, who has not yet been named, is facing charges of manslaughter, assault and attempted assault.
On Monday, the Boys & Girls Club is organizing a walk at 4:30 p.m. for Green with the overarching message being that violence is not a solution.