A MEMORIAL stone has been unveiled in an emotional ceremony to honour murdered Halesowen schoolgirl Christina Edkins.
Pupils past and present, staff and governors gathered around the engraved Yorkshire stone placed at the entrance to Leasowes High School for the service last Thursday.
Christina’s parent Jason and Kathleen Edkins were there to see the stone unveiled with the words ‘Forever in the thoughts of friends, teachers and all who knew her. Greatly loved and sadly missed.’ The huge stone was transported from Yorkshire and stands in a memorial garden surrounded by purple decorations – the 16-year-old’s favourite colour.
The ceremony was led by headteacher Neil Shaw, and a minute’s silence was held immediately following the unveiling.
The random stabbing of the popular teenager while travelling to school on a bus along the Hagley Road from her Birmingham home on March 7 sent shockwaves through the school.
After the initial outpouring of grief, the school put together a number of projects in tribute to Christina.
Among them is a trophy in her name for the school’s nettball team, of which she was a member, and a special memorial award given annually to a Leasowes pupil.
Last month, a stone circle memorial was also unveiled close to where she was killed, featuring a picture of Christina and a dedication below.
Mr Shaw and 30 staff and pupils from the school attended the unveiling.
Christina died from a single stab wound on at the hands of paranoid schizophrenic Phillip Simelane.
The 23-year-old was detained to a secure psychiatric hospital indefinitely by a judge after admitting manslaughter at Birmingham Crown Court in October.
An inquiry is under way into how the many agencies involved with Slimelane managed his care, after the court was told his mother had repeatedly raised concerns about his increasing paranoia and withdrawn nature with his GP, the police and his school.