HIGH POINT, N.C. (WGHP) — A new bench dedicated to a 6-year-old who died of child abuse now sits at a High Point elementary school.
The bench honors the memory of Malachi Nelson. He was a rising first-grader at Montlieu Academy up until his death in June of 2021.
Malachi died from multiple blunt force injuries. Police say the boy’s father, Devon Nelson, beat Malachi to death after he wet his pants and interrupted him while he was playing video games.
Since his death, the school has been focusing on remembering the bright spots in Malachi’s life.
Through donations from the community, they raised enough money to install a buddy bench right in front of the school. It’s a permanent marker honoring the student and friend they lost.
At the dedication, his would be first-grade classmates sang a song, and his former teachers shared stories.
Malachi was described by his teachers as a math wiz and when asked what his goal for the school year was, he replied, “to make more friends.”
School staff says he was always a buddy to everyone he met. It’s why they thought a buddy bench was the perfect way to honor him.
They wanted to make it so students, staff and members of the community can always come and be reminded of his life.
“We definitely wanted to do something to remember Malachi. And so it was such a great honor to reach out to the community and say ‘hey, we need help because we need a way to be able to place something on our campus that will help us to always remember this gentle giant that he was,'”Montlieu Principal Kimberly Scott said.
The school is continuing to collect donations that will go toward child abuse prevention programs.