Our relatively small school district has been racked by two teen suicides in the past 48 hours. I have always felt that the main job of our hormone ridden growth spurt addled teenagers was to do nothing that would permanently affect the rest of their lives. It is during these teen years when highs are always too high, lows always too low and the contrast much too great that vigilance and understanding by all must be so carefully applied, and even then, as I have learned over the years it may still not be enough.
As teachers we all learn from our students that just one word at the right time can mean so much to a child. The problem is finding the right word and the right time. From experience I would guess that most adults and kids who were involved with these children spent time awake last night endlessly wondering what they missed and when they missed it. All must know that in reality in many cases there was nothing there for them to miss. For many it will become a load of undeserved guilt that they may carry on their back for the rest of their lives. As I watch and listen to the students and parents of the community I am reminded once again that suicides are indeed wide ranging weapons of mass social destruction. May the families and friends find peace within themselves.