Suicide in Elementary

I can’t shake this terrible feeling. Too many kids are committing suicide in the elementary, especially in fourth grade, the grade I teach, so of course it hits home hard. The cause? Bullying. Bullying is a serious matter at any age but especially so with children because they haven’t quite yet got expressing their feelings down.

Recently, a little boy hung himself, 10-years-old, and his 12-year-old sister had to cut him down. Mom was out of town and the stepdad was on his way home. Imagine what that little girl was going through as she cut her deceased little brother down. I’m almost positive that was traumatic for her and she will need therapy.

He killed himself because he was being bullied. As a parent, I don’t quite understand why his parents didn’t know he was getting bullied, and if they did, how did they not know it was so severe that their son opted for suicide. Apparently the bullying didn’t stop and nothing was being done about it.

Are we so wrapped up in our own lives that we don’t know what’s going on with our children? Do we not notice their change in demeanor or how withdrawn they are from things they love? We have got to be more involved in our kids lives especially from a young age. There are many people to blame in these cases, but I really want to emphasize the blame on the school. Schools do not do enough, if anything at all, to stop bullying or even acknowledge that it exists.

What I am noticing about these parents is they aren’t following through. They are reporting the incidents and not staying on the district’s ass. Both incidents below the boys hunt themselves in their closets. My question is where are they getting these ideas, what are their parents letting them watch, and why the closet? It’s too many questions that need answers.

Schools tend to try to sweep things under the rug or keep it hush as not to tarnish their reputation or deter parents from sending their kids there. But what about the students? Especially those who don’t have a voice. Who will speak for them?

Yes, I know many schools, if not all, have a no tolerance for bullying policy, but what does that look like and how is it being upheld? I’m my classroom, I don’t tolerate any kind of bullying: playful or not. I take this matter seriously, not only as a teacher, but also as a parent.

It’s why I’m starting the conversations with my son young. I want him to know there’s always a way out and that mommy will do her damndest to make shit stop. I’m going to open that line of communication early so that he always knows that when he comes to me, I will take care of whatever it is, on the spot.

Parents, please talk to your kids. Spend time with them, get to know them, get them talking, open that line of communication. Do you talk to your kid(s) about bullying? How are they receiving it?

Click on links to read about these cases.

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