After a young Texas teen died by suicide and his parents revealed he had been bullied, hundreds of supporters came out for a peaceful demonstration. The teen’s parents indicated that the bullying had gone on for weeks before the young man killed himself. The teen had obtained a gun from a friend, allegedly to protect himself and his family from the bullying occurring. His friend has now been arrested according to CBS Local, but the teen’s parents want the school to face accountability.
A suicide attorney knows that bullying is one top reason for teens to consider death by suicide. School officials claim that the district where the Texas teen had attended school is adamantly opposed to bullying. However, the supporters of the family of the teen who died want bullying to be discussed more openly and want stricter policies in place to protect young people.
Preventing Teen Death by Suicide Can Be Challenging
The school district insists that it did nothing wrong. The District stated that many interviews with students, counselors, and staff members had been conducted but that no prior reported incidents of bullying had preceded the teen’s death. Some bullying goes unreported or school officials may see bullying occur but not take formal steps to stop it.
School districts have a responsibility to their students, but there may be limited things the district can do to get kids to stop being mean or exclusionary to others. Young people should learn about the dangers of bullying from a young age and should be taught the behavior is unacceptable. These lessons must explained in a way that causes teens to understand and to respect their peers instead of subjecting anyone to bullying behavior.
An article on Palo Alto online describes how some California areas are responding to the risk of teen death by suicide following several recent deaths on Caltrain tracks. A Mental Health Association held a round-table discussion on ways to prevent death by suicide among youth, recognizing there are no easy fixes to the problem.
One pilot program being used is called Fire Within. Fire Within uses entrepreneurship and the support of teen peers to help students be more open about how they are feeling and to get a better understanding of the root causes of depression and teen suicide. The program involves peers talking to each other about depression and encourages teens to seek emotional support from each other in high stress environments.
The pilot program is being tried because of a belief that what schools have done so far to address the issues of bullying and teen death by suicide have not been working. There is no quick or easy solution to help kids cope with their depression or to stop bullying behaviors, but hopefully programs like this could be a step in the right direction.
A suicide attorney at the Law Offices of Skip Simpson can help. Call (214) 618-8222 or visit http://www.skipsimpson.com to schedule a free case consultation.