A high school student from Austin committed suicide after posting his intentions on FaceBook. The 16-year-old student told his FaceBook connections that he didn’t know if this was going to affect anyone or if they would even care. He went on to state that he wanted to say he was taking his life away, not for his ex, but because he was tired of being who he is. He said he gives his mom a lot of trouble and pain; and he just wanted to say he is sorry.
After submitting that post the north Austin high school student took his own life with one fatal gunshot. He shot himself in the courtyard of Lanier High School during lunch on Tuesday. He fired the shot right in front of other students who were horrified.
One student, who witnessed it all, Shekinah Dawson, said he just pulled the gun right out of his jacket and all of a sudden he pulled the trigger and that was it. He was on the floor, shaking and twitching. Dawson said the shot sounded like a firecracker.
According to the school district spokesman the school was immediately placed on lockdown. Once the lockdown was over teachers, students and faculty rushed out of the building; many were crying.
Alexis Vasques, who also attends Lanier High School, said he knew the teen. He said all the boy did was post the status on FaceBook and before anybody could react, he did it.
High Schools in the Austin Independent School District do not have metal detectors according to Alex Sanchez. Representatives from that school district also confirmed that they are not allowed to check the students or their belongings for items such as guns.
More and more children are turning to social media to post suicidal notes. As a result, FaceBook has joined forces with the Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
This partnership, gives FaceBook users an added edge when they see that someone has posted a suicidal threat. The person who sees the discomforting post can report those cries for help to the Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The person who initiated the post will immediately receive an email from FaceBook in attempts to persuade them to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. They can either click the included link within the email or call the Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Instantly, they will be connected to a crisis worker for a confidential chat session.
Suicide is serious and we all need to join forces to help prevent it. Almost 100 Americans commit suicide every day. Many people find themselves thinking about suicide even when they are smiling on the outside. No longer can anyone afford to ignore suicidal threats.
We can’t sit idly by and allow those we work and live with to believe that suicide is an acceptable out. Life gets hard for people and some seasons are more difficult than others. We all must do our part to learn about the signs of suicide and how to support those who find themselves in a crisis; even if it’s just finding ways to get them the help they need.
By understanding the urgency of the suicidal crisis of today and utilizing the available information, we will greatly lower the suicidal rates of others.
Tuesday, a Lanier High School teen felt so hopeless that he took his own life. He wasn’t even sure if anyone would care about him dying or not. That’s a sad state to be in. Even though the warning signs aren’t always obvious by learning to recognize even the most subtle cries for help we’ll be able to cut the suicidal numbers down.
By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)