Christian Adamek was remembered as a bright and energetic boy who made a youthful mistake and paid for it with his life.
The popular 15-year-old committed suicide this month after facing expulsion and the sex offender registry for streaking at a high school football game.
Adamek had been arrested for running naked across the football field at Sparkman High School in late September. Two days later, the Huntsville, Alabama, teenager hanged himself.
Adamek’s suicide came as video of his incident was spreading online. Someone posted a video of the streaking incident to YouTube hours after the game, and students on Twitter called the boy a “legend.”
“Sparkman’s new slogan is gonna be ‘Welcome to Sparkman High School, Home of Christian Adamek’ ” one student wrote.
But school officials viewed the streaking incident in a different light, and Sparkman High School principal Michael Campbell said Adamek was facing harsh penalties, including a criminal record.
“There’s the legal complications,” Campbell said. “Public lewdness and court consequences outside of school with the legal system, as well as the school consequences that the school system has set up.”
On Wednesday, friends of Christian came together for a memorial service. Against a backdrop of family photos and bright orange ribbons, many people came forward to remember Christian Adamek as a bright, caring boy.
“There are two kinds of people in the world; ones that brighten the room when they walk in and those that don’t. He was one that brightened the room when he walked in. That’s what I’ll always remember about Christian,” said David Silvernail, Christian’s Boy Scout troop master.
His mother, Angela, tried to turn the tragedy into a learning moment for others facing the despair that her son faced.
“Remember to smile, don’t be afraid to do something goofy and remember the consequences of those actions, ask for help when you need it, ask for help if you think your friends need it if you don’t know what to do, be quirky, be happy, be smart,” she said. “Thanks for loving Christian.”
Others are trying to create a lasting legacy for him as well — friends and family came together to start a memorial fund for Christian Adamek.