Mount Si High School sophomore kills self
April 20, 2012
By Sebastian Moraga
A 10th-grader from Mount Si High School committed suicide April 19, school principal John Belcher confirmed.
The student killed himself at his home, an email from Belcher to MSHS parents stated.
Classes went on as scheduled April 20 in a subdued campus with its flag at half staff.
At Mount Si High School, the auditorium was set up as a place for students seeking support and counseling from peers and adults.
“When a situation like this occurs, people have different ways of reacting, even if they did not have a close relationship with the person,” Belcher wrote. “Feelings such as shock, sadness, guilt, fear and anger are common. Memories of past loss may surface. Those reactions may rise and fall throughout the day and even for days to come.”
The school’s authorities noted that after-school activities went on as scheduled.
An activity between high-schoolers and Cascade View Elementary School students was not suspended, either.
Cascade View principal Ray Wilson said there was real value to maintaining a semblance of routine in the face of a crisis.
“Oftentimes, it can put people at ease,” Wilson said.
Belcher said that Mount Si High School would have a closed campus April 20, the day students at the school were scheduled to hold their annual Day of Silence.
“We’re going to give Wildcat Nation a chance to just be with one another,” Belcher said.
WAYS FOR PARENTS TO HELP IN THE AFTERMATH:
Resist the temptation to minimize the pain, deny the feelings or give advice. Simply listen.
Offer helpful responses like:
“Tell me more about that.”
“Have you ever felt that way before?”
“I wonder if there are other things that are worrying you?”
“What are other students saying or fearing about this?”
Be emotionally available, not judgmental. This is an emotionally intense time for children.
Ask children to be supportive of one another in any way they can.
COMMON WARNING SIGNS OF SUICIDE INCLUDE:
Prior suicide attempts
Talking about suicide, particularly how.
Giving away possessions
Preoccupation with death
Loss of sleep, appetite, or energy
Hopelessness or anxiety
Drug or alcohol use
Difficulty thinking clearly
Withdrawing after a period of trying to get attention
Recent suicide attempt by a friend or family member.
HOW TO DEAL WITH CHILDREN HAVING SUICIDAL THOUGHTS:
Ask your children directly whether they have considered suicide. It will not put ideas in your children’s heads.
“Most people express relief when they can talk openly about their feelings, since most people who attempt suicide are very afraid,” Belcher wrote.
SOURCES OF HELP:
Mount Si High School counselors or psychologists, at 831-8150.
Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
Teenlink: 1-888-431-8336 (Mon.-Fri)
Crisis Referral line: 1-866-427-4747
Snoqualmie Middle School has been planning an informational meeting about youth suicide 4-7 p.m. May 21.
Source: John Belcher, Principal, Mount Si High School.