WOODLAND HILLS—On Thursday, October 6, the Los Angeles Unified School District sent out an announcement of the death of a 17-year-old El Camino Real High School student, Caden Kitchen, who died of fentanyl poisoning.

He was an athlete at the charter school playing baseball. Fellow parents and students alike remembered Cade, as a well-educated, bright, fun-loving, enthusiastic, kind person who was devoted to his team.

According to reports, an opioid overdose is believed to be the cause of death. Parents voiced their concerns regarding the rising threat of opioid overdoses and fentanyl poisoning on campus.

The Los Angeles County Unified School District made the following statement regarding the student’s death:

“It is with great sadness that I inform you that one of our 17-year-old students passed away last night. This tragic incident was the result of a fatal Fentanyl overdose. As a father and a parent, I cannot fathom the loss of a child. My heart breaks to know that an El Camino student will not be with us tomorrow. On behalf of the El Camino Real community, our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time. After the death of a friend, young people need more support and attention than usual from their parents and other adults. This is an especially difficult and emotional time for those who knew the student, the student’s family or for students who have experienced recent trauma in their lives. If you have questions or concerns about your child and feel s/he might need additional support, please contact the school at mail to: counseling@ecrchs.net. Please do not hesitate to further questions or need assistance. We have also included a link from Children’s Hospital LA that you may find useful when talking to your children about death or traumatic loss and grief. You may also visit Department of Mental Health for Grief and Loss Resources.”

Josh Lienhard organized a GoFundMe page to help the family with funeral expenses, where at least 53 donors contributed $48,689 by the time this article was published.