APRIL 21, 1997

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Youth suicide is a community tragedy

suicide A young 15-year-old Northshore School District student, somebody's child, recently took his own life. This is a tragedy not only for his family, his friends, and schoolmates, but for the entire community.
   Suicide is a complex issue. The question arises: How could this have been averted? What difference could we, as a community, have made?
   In this case, it is reported by classmates that relentless teasing, judgemental attitudes, and cutting off of friendships in school may have contributed to this student's decision. It is essential that our community be sensitive to others, teach ourselves and our young to accept all individuals, despite any differences, and treat everyone with respect.
   No one needs to be isolated. There are many resources in our community to help those in need. And sometimes, all it takes is the reaching out of one hand--ours.