Parents, School Commemorate India Collins | News
A Houston County Middle School paused Monday to honor the life of a student who died over the summer.
India Collins, 12, was found dead in her Kathleen home on July 3. She had been shot multiple times, according to the Houston County Sheriff's Office. Her older sister, Carmen Collins, remains in custody, charged with arson and India's murder.
India would have been in 7th grade this year.
Her former teacher Kasey Mixon said, "She was very smart, very studious, always did everything I asked of her."
She and other teachers and students gathered in the gym Monday morning. After they celebrated Constitution Day, Prinicpal Andy Gentry dedicated a plaque and memorial to India Collins.
The Collins family attended the ceremony. Her parents were joined by cousins and aunts and uncles.
India's mother Angela read a letter thanking everyone for their acts of kindness during the difficult time.
"India loved her family and we loved her," said Angela. "We don't know what happened on that day, but we do know that her sister, in her right mind, would never hurt or harm her."
When Angela finished with her speech, India's dad John spoke.
"I miss my girls so much," said John. "The advice I give each and every one of you, don't take the little small things for granted."
He told the crowd there was one thing he had to do or India would be upset with him. Then he started singing.
"I stretch my hand to thee," he sang. "Come rescue me."
Gentry, who took over as principal of Mossy Creek on July 1, told the students and staff how he had found out about the tragedy.
He also encouraged them to learn from India's life.
"I was so impressed with her maturity, her sweet attitude and her beautiful smile," he said.
Students and staff gave the family a standing ovation as they walked outside to see the memorial set up for all students that passed away while at the school.
India's name was added to the memorial rock that sits outside Mossy Creek Middle School.
Also memorialized on the rock, Bridgett and Leslie Sullivent, Macy Easom and Joanna McAffee.