Teen Suicide: A Rising Epidemic

This two-part special report focuses on the causes of youth suicide and the possible solutions. It involved more than 100 in-depth interviews with the families of victims, survivors of suicide attempts, educators, mental-health-policy experts, psychiatrists, epidemiologists, government researchers, and law- enforcement officials.

With the help of a district-run mental-health clinic, a city teeming with psychological clinics, and a $14 million annual investment from the district’s budget in mental-health services, the number of suicides in the district dropped from 35 in 1989 to 19 in 1997.
April 19, 2000 - Education Week

Like a one-man emotional ER, Tim Harmon bolts into a classroom and conducts a 15-minute one-on-one counseling session with a student who threatened to hang himself last year. Then, satisfied that the boy is stabilized, he speeds off to his next case, at a school more than 100 miles east.
April 19, 2000 - Education Week

When Manny was 14, he announced to his parents that he was gay. They promptly restricted his phone calls and locked him in his room, but when those actions didn’t "change" him, they threw him out of the house.
April 19, 2000 - Education Week

The high school needs a new roof. The teachers want a raise. Half the bus fleet needs a maintenance overhaul. Joey is depressed. Which of these problems is a district most likely to tackle last?
April 19, 2000 - Education Week

Squinting into the lunch-hour sunshine, Jackie Garcia scans the vast, blacktop playground for signs of altercations. Spotting a scuffle between a pair of 2nd graders playing kickball, Jackie, 11, bounds toward them, her bright-orange slicker, emblazoned with the title "Conflict Manager," flapping as she runs.
April 19, 2000 - Education Week

Architectural terminology glides easily off Barbara Jones' tongue. Metaphors of renovation come in handy, the associate superintendent of the Memphis public schools said last fall, when she began a campaign to systematically knock down the administrative barriers that stand between students and their emotional needs.
April 19, 2000 - Education Week

Most schools that teach suicide prevention generally opt for quick units in health class or school assemblies. Typically, they show videos of healthy-looking adolescents who have survived a suicide attempt. But psychologists warn that such an approach can do more harm than good.
April 19, 2000 - Education Week

When he killed himself nearly three years ago at age 16, Jason Flatt was a promising freshman football player who earned decent grades at the private Christian schools he had attended since 6th grade.
April 12, 2000 - Education Week

Classmates used to call Mekye Malcolm Houdini for the way he would deftly slip out of class and wander the hills behind his school, sketching pictures of butterflies and horses nipping at the green North Carolina grass.
April 12, 2000 - Education Week

The day Kerby Casey Guerra killed herself, the 13-year-old wore a perfect mask of happiness. A day earlier, Kerby's mother had treated her to a manicure at a fashionable Colorado Springs salon, and Kerby seemed elated. The 8th grader was transferring from a school she hated, and things finally were starting to look up.
April 12, 2000 - Education Week

The impetus for inner turmoil in the hearts of American adolescents in recent years cannot be gleaned from superficial clues such as whether a teenager plays violent video games, listens to Marilyn Manson CDs, or dons black trench coats, school psychologists say. Young people, they say, rarely wear their angst so conveniently on their sleeves.
April 12, 2000 - Education Week

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