Occasionally, unpleasant aspects of our students’ social lives are brought to my attention. Recently, I have seen a string of missives among our students and their friends from a new social networking site called “Buzz” that works through Gmail. While it is not surprising to find inappropriate language and topics bandied about on these sites, every once in a while a topic is raised to which we should pay close attention.
One such topic appeared in the string I have seen recently. A young person—unknown to me and NOT a Villa student—mentioned suicide as a result of feeling very bad. The responses from our students and others were very heartfelt, positive, and supportive of the young person. That is good news. It seem our students know that suicide is a serious topic and are kind in response to those who mention it.
Nevertheless, a conversation with your child about the topic generally and how to respond to feelings of hopelessness and depression in themselves or others may be in order. It may also help to discuss with your students who they can go to if someone they know expresses feelings of hopeless or depression.
Middle school is often the first time when deep feelings assert themselves in a student’s life; talking with your youngsters, before it is an issue, can help them and their friends manage their feelings better and potentially avert a serious situation.
Thank you very much for your attention and support.