Public Schools and Teen Suicide – Teen Bullying



When a teen begins to talk about suicide it can be a very frightening experience for any parent. When a teen talks about suicide in a public school most times they will be taken to a professional for an evaluation. An educator would feel terrible if a teen was reaching out for help and they didn’t receive the help they were seeking. Most school districts have mandatory procedures that immediately go into play once a teen begins to talk about hurting themselves. The philosophy is that it is always better to error on the side of being too cautious than not cautious enough when a teen mentions suicide. This like anything a teen uses to create attention for them can be used inappropriately. Once a child realizes that playing the suicide card can get them out of most situations they begin using it more and more often.

On a recent episode of 20/20 they reported that a girl sent a nude photo of herself to her boyfriend. The photo ended up getting passed around the entire school. A few months later she couldn’t deal with the harassment and hung herself in her closet. It seems that with newer technology it’s easier for teens to become bullied. Which in turn causes more teen suicide.

Accidental Teen Suicide

One risk inherent with a teen using the suicide threat as a means of getting their own way is the fact that the teen will sometimes want to make it look like they are serious about following through with the threat. In doing so the teen may accidentally succeed in committing suicide or in seriously hurting themselves. In reality they may have only wanted to increase the perceived validity of the worn out threat that may have started to fall on deaf ears, similar to the boy who cried wolf. Either way the end is never a happy one. Another factor to consider is that if a teen has decided to end their life, it may be very difficult to prevent it. Without supervision 24 hours a day it may even be impossible. If a teen is seriously depressed and suicidal it is critical that professional help be sought immediately. As mentioned earlier, it is always to seek help a little too early and a little too often than a little to late.

Troubled Teen Boarding Schools and Suicide

For a suicidal teen a Residential Center or a traditional Boarding School may not be the best option. If a teen has made a serious attempt to take their own life the best placement may be a hospital or a Residential Treatment Center. Some teen boarding schools are simply not equipped to deal with a suicidal teen. Like a public school when a teen starts making suicidal gestures, or threats the school is mandated to have the child removed to a more clinical setting. This will allow a complete evaluation to be made, and a determination as to the most appropriate type of placement for the troubled teen. One problem parents of a suicidal teen face is the financial expense of treating the teen. It is a given that parents can not put a price on their life of their child, but when financial resources and insurance benefits are exhausted their options are limited.