Lincoln North Star High School students wanting to hold a fundraiser for a former student who died last weekend were told they could not do so on school grounds.
The body of Wayne State College freshman Eddie Key III was found around 7 p.m. Saturday in his Berry Hall dorm room. Key graduated last May from Lincoln North Star where he earned Second Team All-Nebraska and Super State honors in football as an offensive lineman his senior year. Key played defensive end at Wayne State last fall.
Preliminary autopsy results ruled out alcohol or drugs as factors in the 18-year-old's death. Police also ruled out self-inflicted injuries as a cause of death. There were no signs of foul play at the scene.
Many Lincoln North Star students knew Key. "When this happened these kids took a call to arms and rallied together to find ways to express themselves and help through the grieving process," said parent John Coffey.
After putting together plans for a T-shirt sale fundraiser, students were told a district policy wouldn't allow them to do that on school grounds because Key was not a current student. "The policy is in place to make sure we don't set precedents to one student over another student," said Lincoln North Star principal Vonn Price.
"I think there was mixed emotions across the board, some people were angry," said Coffey.
Students were forced to find another place for the fundraiser and the Applebee's restaurant on 27th Street allowed them to hold it there. "We just tried to circumvent that in a way to do the right thing and help the family out," said Coffey. "It's hit hard, Eddie was a great guy, known and loved by all."
Key's wake is Friday from 12 - 7 p.m. at Metcalf Funeral Home in Lincoln. Funeral services are 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Mark's in Lincoln.