Disheartened…that is how I describe my feeling this week as the monstrosity of what had taken place in our small town set in. J., the very girl I had known since she was in Elementary school, whom I taught as a high school freshman and now was the very girl whose photo and name was associated with attempted murder. None of it made sense. That wasn’t the girl I knew. Immediately my thoughts shot back to her smile, her laugh. The carefree student who seemed wise beyond her years yet too young to know better. The last time I saw her, she showed me her Engagement ring. As she left, I said the same thing I always say to students…”Make good choices.”
I can’t help but think about The day these children were born. I’m sure their parents kissed them and thought of the lives they would live. ..No where on the list was “drug dealer”, “accomplice” or “Attempted Murderer.” I am sure their parents had so many dreams for their children. This tragedy brought out some of the worst behavior….Judgment. I found myself requesting “Sensitivity.” As adults, we must lead by example. I know that these students have participated in heinous behavior. However, I also know that four families are hurting and their lives will never be the same. I pray we can be sensitive and do what we do best…band together in crisis in our small community.
I wrote this two years ago-it was too raw at the time to post-
Once again, I turn to my computer as the words of my 18 yr. old punched the breath out of me. “Mom, I hope the rest of my Class (of 2017), makes it to Graduation.” After experiencing the loss of two dear friends, both to suicide in the last two months and the attempted murder two yrs. ago I couldn’t help but wonder, “What the Hell is wrong with us as a society? Attempting murder, nor suicide knows no boundaries…These students were loved.
BUT, as a society or even community, we don’t talk!Instead of discussing the serious matters, finding resources and helping one another, we crawl into our own homes, hope and pray we are “doing it right.” We are embarrassed, hurt, waiting for anyone to reach out- but it’s rare and they probably won’t.As one dear friend said to me when we were going through our own HELL, “People are too wrapped up in their own lives to be concerned with anything you are going through.” He was right. Other than the few people we chose to share our pain- only one person called to check on us. I will admit that I know, first-hand, how painful life can be in our “close-knit” community.
I believe we are meant to support and lift each other up-not compete.We are meant to reach out and BE THERE through good and painful times.
For whatever reason, It seems if a child is troubled at school, find a new school; if struggling with friendships, find a new group, if struggling in school, get help…
BUT, do they go? In our society, we have plenty of schools and awesome teachers and guidance counselors.
Still, Kids kill themselves. They end a temporary problem with a permanent solution…and we are left to pick up the pieces of a community that will never be the same… Noah Corl and George Davies parents and families don’t get another moment with them and neither do we.
Since their untimely deaths-I have been in turmoil. A feeling of uneasiness mixed with helplessness because I wasn’t teaching in their school and wasn’t there for my fellow teachers. I wish I could say these are the only suicides that have touched lives, but they aren’t. Every year while teaching- somehow Suicide touched student’s and therefore, my life.
So how do we make our children resilient? It begins with a few questions-
Where is the Inner Peace? Where is The Calm to KILL the Chaos? Where is the Relaxation to squash the “Monkey-Mind?” Where is the “Teen Success” to counter the Bad Choices?Where is the Tutoring to combat Academic Struggles and “Zen” Teen Groups to Combat Anxiety and Teen Angst and Family Support and, and, and…
It’s somewhere-out there. Yet Suicide continues to grab hold of our community.
So what’s the Solution to this Growing Problem? Trust myself and the words of my current and former students.
Goal One: “Eden and Einstein Academy” must become a Non-Profit – I need your expertise to make this happen.
Goal Two: Honor the Memories of Noah Corl and George Davies by Offering a Calendar of Stress Management Options for Students/Families in the form of Yoga & Art Classes, Teen Motivation & Success Classes, Executive Functioning/Social Skills, Tutoring and a POTS Group (Parents of Teens;).
Goal Three: Inspire other Professionals to join the movement supporting our efforts .
Goal Four: Purchase “Grant Writing for Dummies” and offer programs to all for Free & Donations!
Goal Five: Open Pilot Program in a centrally located area. Share/Spread Love & Support!
Care to join in the efforts to STOP STUDENT SUICIDE? Contact: 321-960-6162 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Jamie Smith said:
Hi Eden! I’m in. Let me know what you want me yo help with!
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Eden Cook said:
Of course it’s a fellow Flagler College Grad who offers first!!! What a SAINT!!! I left a message for you.