Two days ago, a student at my son’s high school committed suicide on the train tracks near our house. This is the fourth student suicide at that spot in six months. The Mercury-News article said it well, it “renewed a sense of shock and helplessness” in the community.
The Gunn students are shocked, but they are certainly not acting helpless. They continue to do smart things, reaching out, talking, trying to make Gunn a better place for teens. They did this after the first suicide and have not given up.
A new blog titled Henry M. Gunn Gives Me Hope appeared today, and already has dozens of posts. One is about Operation Beautiful, a project to put Post-It Notes with inspirational sayings all over campus.
After the first suicide, students organized ROCK (“Reach Out. Care. Know.”), with a ROCK Facebook group and “ROCK at Gunn” blog. ROCK is completely student-run, including a staffed spot at the Gunn Academic Center and a list of students who volunteer to be “rocks”. Other students are gearing up a second round of handpainted “Talk to me” T-shirts with the proceeds going to the Kara grief counseling center [additional coverage]. The student paper covered teen suicide along with ROCK and the professional counseling available.
The suicides are a sadness beyond words, but the response of the Gunn students is more than just a ray of hope. It is beautiful.