Death in a Middle School

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A little boy killed himself last night. A little sixth-grader in the Middle School/High School where I work ended his life.

The place is untypically sedate right now.

At 11 years old, he was struggling with his sexuality. I’m not sure which is worse; that our children are so inundated with sexual messages and images that an 11 year old child has to struggle with such things before his time, or that other children have been so filled with spiteful feelings (by the adults who surround them) that they would taunt and bully a classmate (a lot of this was occurring, despite efforts to stop it) and would only wake up on a day like this.

One young man, teary-eyed, noted quietly that you never know when someone is going to die. That’s right, I told him. And although it’s not so simple as to say that “something good” comes out of something so horrific, it does serve as a reminder — a reminder that those angry, spiteful comments we make to each other (or even just feel) may very well be the last thing we get to say. Death is so near at any moment. It’s a lot easier to remember this at my age, but do any of us really remember it? If we did, if we really remembered this at every moment, we would be unable to waste so much time being negative, lazy, angry or cruel.

Eiran says:

When I first read about this on your page, I was so shocked and overwhelmed by the cruelty of it, I could not sleep for a couple of nights. I cannot fathom a situation where a kid that age can muster the ability to commit suicide. I don’t know the family nor all the details, but was still in shock. 11 is an age of awkwardness and innocence – so to be driven to despair of that degree there had to be some pretty unusual circumstances. Someone needs to watch over the parents now.