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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

home : opinions : opinions September 15, 2014

9/14/2012 10:00:00 PM
Editorial: Community strives to avert future tragedies
The Daily Courier

The Prescott community sinks even deeper into sorrow with news of another teen suicide, the second in two weeks' time.

We are all experiencing profound sadness at the loss of two young people who decided this was the only way out of hopelessness that consumed them.

As we react, let us first give up any feelings of guilt. This does nothing but sharpen the pain and simply is not productive. Neither is placing blame or pointing fingers. No one should accept fault.

Rather, what we can do in tragedies such as this is sharpen our vigilance of people in our midst who feel troubled and reach out to them as best we know how - especially our adolescents who are going through one of the most vulnerable stages of life.

According to National Institutes of Mental Health statistics, suicide is among the top three leading causes of death for young people ages 15 to 24. Seek the help of mental health professionals and rely on their expertise when we notice disturbing behavior in a loved one or friend.

What this community can do now is support the Prescott Unified School District, and especially Prescott High School, in their efforts to confront this crisis by emphasizing to their students that they are important and that they can come to anyone on the staff if they need to talk.

"We will listen to you," PHS Principal Totsy McCraley promised in an email to students. Beyond this, the district is working with West Yavapai Guidance Clinic to bolster its suicide prevention program.

PHS students have stepped up, too. They have embarked on a project to create bracelets with messages of hope and support that they plan to distribute at next week's homecoming pep assembly.

These are steps in the right direction.

At the same time, the Prescott community must stand by the families of the two teens and offer comfort and assurance that they are not alone and that we won't forget them in the weeks, months and years ahead. It's easy for the rest of us to return to our daily lives and forget.

But we must not forget what has happened and mobilize every effort possible to keep another teen from taking his or her own life.

Perhaps this would be the most fitting tribute we could pay the two teenagers we feel we have betrayed by not readily knowing what to do or having the right tools to lighten the emotional burdens they carried.

We promise you both that we will never give up our search for answers.

Related Stories:
• School provides grief counseling, educates staff after two recent student suicides

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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, December 04, 2012
Article comment by: There should be a sign saying miller

In my opinion this situation was tragic. One would hope that when a teen feels hopeless and depressed, they could reach out to an adult or someone that could help give them guidance. Maybe even someone from their school. Unfortunately that could have never happened in this situation WHY? .I have never encountered such a mean spirited angry group of adiministers as in this high school. Not all, but most. Especially the principal and vice principal. Talk about intense dislike towards some of their students. I believe there should be a very large sign in front of the administration building saying........................

Posted: Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Article comment by: old courier article


Posted: Sunday, September 16, 2012
Article comment by: just saying

Really,,, Ignorance Breeds Stupidity ....you sound like someone who knew these children and others who stated they knew them too, said they were bullied .. so maybe you should stop bullying the other bloggers ,,, don't make this about you .....

Posted: Sunday, September 16, 2012
Article comment by: JOHN CITIZEN

Thank you facebook, texting, cell phones, all high-tech communications out there...now you can threaten or degrade anyone you want......insecure teens and adolescents create problems... bullying has been around for decades, nothing new.....teens need to be taught respect for others...starts at home.....................................

Posted: Sunday, September 16, 2012
Article comment by: Ignorance Breeds Stupidity

These deaths were not because of bullying!!! Ask the families of those who just died. PHS has silent witness boxes posted around the school where anyone can drop a note and mention any concerns from bullying to seeking help for a classmate. Call the school and ask questions about what is or isn't in place before you assume the PHS is not like other schools that have " bullying boxes ". It is ignorant assumptions in the comments section that make our community a disgrace. Take a note on this lesson and educate yourselves before you make a statement. Bullying is a problem in schools across the nation, but this is not the reason why thesr students ended their lives. So stop throwing it on the table for discussion in these sad tragedies!

Posted: Sunday, September 16, 2012
Article comment by: Eyeball to Eyeball

Eye contact can reveal far more than words. Adults and children alike have their eyes glued to the cell phone screen or other device and everyone is in a hurry going from one activity to another, and they are multi-tasking besides. There is a high cost to living like this. It's like texting while driving - maybe you can do it, but the risk of someone dying is great.

It was Wednesday early afternoon that I was walking back from the library and noticed that the kids were out early and not ONE of them was tuned into their surroundings. They had both their ears and their eyes distracted and preoccupied by personal devices. Parents are not much different.

If we took the time to LOOK into a another's eyes and allowed ourselves to SEE what's there, however discomforting, more children could be saved. But that takes time and attention to others.

Maybe some might not believe it because it is considered 'hocus pocus', but one CAN see thoughts of death in another's eyes. But then again, "there are none so blind as those who will not see." Time to wake up.

Posted: Saturday, September 15, 2012
Article comment by: let's help instead of creating negativity

We need to come together as a community and develop non-hassle places for teens to vent and not be judged, a place where they can ask questions or just sit in silence if they choose. God Bless these families and others that have gone through this-it breaks my heart...give a teen a compliment and if you have one remind them how they are important and loved! Save a life....

Posted: Saturday, September 15, 2012
Article comment by: Pete T.

Well said. Thank you. I think about those children's families every day and pray for them.

Posted: Saturday, September 15, 2012
Article comment by: Just Saying

Young people are influenced by what they see. When they see adults acting like bullies, they see models of acceptable behavior.
When they see politicians behaving like bullies what do you expect? When they see nations acting like bullies, killing thousands of children and women, what do you think? Violence is acceptable and encouraged.
They get the message.

Posted: Saturday, September 15, 2012
Article comment by: Mom of 3 grown children PHS alumni

Although all children go through stages of self doubt and not liking themselves as do, adults. The bigger picture here is NOT the obvious bullies, who need to be handled appropriately . BUT all the facebook, texting , twitter and other high tech gadgets , but the lack of face to face communication .. Most teenagers and children ( and adults )would never say those things out loud to each other , they hide behind these forms of communication (as do many bloggers out here in the Prescott Courier atmosphere .) Many teenagers are talking about parties , events , games on line and posting fun events and pictures online and probably do not realize that some kids see this and feel isolated and very lost if they are the ones always being left out...Yes we all have been that person at one point in our life and it doesn't feel good . So please parents , teachers and coaches etc ... be aware of the child that doesn't seem to be part of that circle , that they are craving to be apart of . We all want to be liked, loved and appreciated for who we are.

Posted: Saturday, September 15, 2012
Article comment by: The Rev

Being "bullied" as a child made me a better person. If intervention is needed by all mean provide it but we must focus upon matters at hand. It seems many children are ill equipped to handle the ugliness and cruelty life can entail. Why are they unable to see the more beautiful aspects of living?

Posted: Saturday, September 15, 2012
Article comment by: @ Tom Steele

you are so right. The biggest problem i have seen in the schools in our tri city area is bullying. The schools do nothing about it unless there is a witness to the bullying yet most bullies will try to hide what they are doing to get away from being caught.
The schools out side of the area use what is called bully boxes so the kid who is being bullied can bring this to the attention of the school without retaliation from the bully yet our schools refuse to handle it like this.
One of my kids was bullied bad in Tucson they turned the bully in and it was handled my child was also bullied in the Chino schools and she turned the person in and was told they were not going to do anything about it because there wasn't enough proof. Being bullied is a perspective of each individual and if you do not take steps to make sure that it is stopped then depression can set in and a fear of going to school.
A child shouldn't suffer from bullying because some administrative (person) thinks that the child is not being bullied. I know there are other factors in these recent issues however bullying is a bad issue at the local schools and it needs to be stopped and the one being bullied should not have to prove that it is being done it should just be handled and stopped.

Posted: Saturday, September 15, 2012
Article comment by: Tom Steele

There are almost always warning signs the family, school and friends are aware of before suicide is in play. All must be aware of the signs and alert those in a position to help the young person. We all have the responsibility to be concerned and yes involved.

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