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'This Mother's Day was so hard': Family of slain Wyandotte High School teacher wants answers in case

Jamie Craig's classroom
Posted at 10:22 PM, May 16, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-16 23:22:22-04

KANSAS CITY, KS — A school, community and family are grieving the death of a Wyandotte High School teacher — Jamie Craig.

Currently, a 14-year-old is detained and awaiting certification to be charged with second-degree murder in her death.

KSHB 41 spoke with the Craig's family on Tuesday evening, who are still trying to reason through losing a sister and daughter, all while raising her three-year-old son.

"This Mother's Day was so hard," said Kelly Gray, Craig's mother. "I'm so used to being with all the girls and it tore my heart out her not being with her family, and we still can't understand why."

Craig's family is also trying to help her three-year-old son understand she isn't coming home.

Jamie Craig and her family
Jamie Craig and her family.

"He was there and just says, 'Mommy owie, mommy owie,' and it just breaks our heart because he was there and we have no idea what he saw," Gray said.

Jamie Craig and her son
Jamie Craig and her son

They don't know much about what happened, but they do know Craig fought with her students against violence.

"It's just the most ironically disgusting situation, but she lived for those kids," said Abra McKinsey, Craig's sister.

Craig's family said there was nothing she wouldn't do for any of her students.

"She loved them all and felt so sorry for the ones who didn't have a parent or family home, she was just the best," Gray said.

Craig's family said as much as she loved them, her students usually came first.

Those walking down the third floor hall of Wyandotte High School will see artwork and class projects on lockers.

In the corner, they'll also see what looks like a normal classroom, but what's missing is Craig.

"I received a call in the middle of the night," Wyandotte High School Principal Mary Stewart said.

It rocked the high school.

"It was devastating," Stewart said.

KSHB 41 obtained the search warrant, describing when officers arrived to her apartment where her three-year-old son told them his mom had a "boo-boo."

It's a chain of events that are hard to comprehend for Stewart.

"Just a blow to the heart. It's just sad. It's unfortunate. It's devastating from every angle," Stewart said.

Inside of room 328 at Wyandotte County High School, the slogan "enough is enough" can still be seen.

It's the district's anti-violence initiative and Craig advocating against the very act that took her life.

"She was a great listener and understood trauma," Steward said. "She understood some of the challenges our students have faced and will face."

Those on the receving end of Craig's care and passion said they will never forget Craig.

"Here we are trying to close down a school year and this has happened, and we want to pause and make sense of it," Stewart said. "All we want to do is help everyone try to heal through this process and try to continue the legacy Jamie started."

This school year, Craig had just started a "Youth Court" program in partnership with the Wyandotte District Attorney's Office.

Stewart said they do have plans to find someone who can keep that going.