A San Francisco high school student was among those killed in the Oakland “Ghost Ship” fire that claimed the lives of at least three dozen Friday, school district officials said.
Draven McGill, an 11th grader at Ruth Asawa School of the Arts, was one of the victims in the deadly Oakland warehouse blaze, the school’s principal said. McGill studied in the vocal department at SOTA, the premiere arts school in San Francisco.
“This is an incredibly unsettling and sad event – not only for the Asawa SOTA community, but especially for Draven’s family,” SOTA Principal Barnaby Payne said in a letter to the school community Sunday night.
“As sad as we are today, I know that how we react in challenging times is what defines us as a community,” Payne said. “We must rise to this occasion and rally around each other with love, compassion and support.”
The school district is offering support services to students on campus, according to Payne.
“We will come together and do all we can to love and support each other, including providing counseling to our students, and lift up the memories of those we lost,” Board of Education President Matt Haney said in a text message. “These were young people who sought a safe space for community and creative expression, and we will not forget them.”
As of Monday morning, Myong Leigh, interim superintendent at the San Francisco Unified School District, said McGill was the youngest confirmed victim of the fire.
“It is both painful and poignant that the victims’ lives were lost while seeking community and connection through a shared love of art and creative expression,” Leigh said in a statement.