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Old 02-20-2011, 07:59 AM   #1
palm
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,572
Suicide turns attention to Fairfax discipline procedures

This happened in my backyard and has brought me to tears.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...l?nav=hcmodule

""Nick Stuban was all about football, a quick-footed linebacker at W.T. Woodson High School in Fairfax County who did well in the classroom, too: four As, two Bs and a C for first quarter. His history teacher described the 15-year-old as a "model student," and his German teacher was impressed by his enthusiasm for language. His attendance record was nearly perfect.

That changed Nov. 3, when Nick was suspended from school for buying a capsule of a substance known as JWH-018, a synthetic compound with a marijuana-like effect. JWH-018 was legal - Nick had checked it out first on Google - but he soon discovered that he had made a mistake with consequences far beyond anything he expected.

"I don't know what I was thinking," his father recalls Nick saying.

Over the next 11 weeks, his mistake unraveled much of what Nick held close - his life at school, his sense of identity, his connection to the second family he'd found in his football team. Nick's emotional descent was steeper than anyone imagined, and its painful finality brought light to a discipline system that many Fairfax families call too lengthy, too rigid and too hostile.

Nick took his life Jan. 20, the second student in two years to die of a suicide amid the fallout of a disciplinary infraction in Fairfax. In March 2009, Josh Anderson, 17, a football player at South Lakes High School, committed suicide the day before his second disciplinary hearing.

Suicides are never associated with a single cause, experts say. But Nick's difficulties - based on interviews with family, friends, experts and school officials, and more than 100 pages of case documents - allow a close look at how consequences intended to help a student correct course instead can fuel a growing despair.""

Ok, this last paragraph bothers me. I get that one incident doesn't lead to suicide.

But I have a problem with where this path usually goes, which is the person was mentally ill to begin with and therefore, this is why this happened. If I remember correctly, many suicides tragically occur have nothing to do with mental illness.

Lots of people committed suicide during the depression and I seriously doubt that they were mentally ill. They despaired over horrific circumstances and saw no other way out of the situation.

Just like with drugs, it is like these experts are claiming that a drastic response to a very stressful situation uncovered mental illness.

The other interesting fact is that near the end of his life, he took an antidepressant. I am inclined to say this wasn't an issue because it sounds like this guy was showing signs of suicidal ideation before he took the pill.

Finally, in reading this article, I can't believe how punitive schools are. I am not saying there shouldn't be discipline but in reading the story, I felt like I was reading an account of a fascist dictatorship that bore little resemblance to the school system I grew up in.

Palm
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Old 02-20-2011, 11:53 AM   #2
kathleen2
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Join Date: Apr 2010
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Re: Suicide turns attention to Fairfax discipline procedures

This is so, so sad. Teen suicide is beyond tragic. The only demographic more likely to end their lives are the eldely. And among teens, gay, lesbian and transgendered kids die this way at alarming rates.

One thing we all know from our time at PP is that the young can be particularly given to cognitive distortions. I'm sure we all remember this from high school, too: everything seems like a catastrophe. What others think of us, espec our peers, matters so, so much. And perception of time is different, much slower, so that NOW seems like FOREVER.

I'm sure they're trying to impede the epidemic of kids buying mood-altering "supplements," but humiliation isn't the way to do it.
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