9-year-old Colony boy dies in apparent suicide at school




Posted on January 22, 2010 at 2:14 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 22 at 2:21 PM

Stewart's Creek Elementary School

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THE COLONY — Grief counselors were on hand at a Lewisville ISD school on Friday after a fourth grade student apparently killed himself on campus yesterday.

It has been a painful day for most at Stewart's Creek Elementary School, as they have processed what has happened.

They got a real-life lesson they had no choice but to get. That is that suicide is one of the leading causes of death for school-age children, and most vulnerable of all are boys, ages 10 to 14.

It is hard to believe that elementary school students could even contemplate suicide, let alone commit it.

But the reality of a nine-year-old boy hanging himself in the nurse's bathroom cannot be ignored.

"It's just sad. I can't imagine what would make a nine-year-old boy feel this way," said Stephanie Rodriguez, the school's PTA treasurer.

She said she told her son Lewis, 9, that if he ever feels bad that he must either talk to her or his father.

School officials said the boy was in the office all day on Thursday, asked to use the bathroom, and was checked on twice. The third time he was checked, he was found unconscious.

"We do know that this incident is not related to any form of bullying," said Lewisville spokeswoman, Karen Pemetti.

Experts warn there are often warning signs before someone does commit suicide, such as talking about suicide or death, talking about feeling hopeless or guilty, pulling away from family and friends and self-destructive behavior.

Parents who see these signs should sit down with their child and get that child to talk about his or her feelings, and let them know it is perfectly OK to feel down or sad. It is crucial that they let them work through those feelings, whether it is crying about it or getting out and doing activities they love.

Most important, is keeping that line of communication open between you and your child.

Grief counselors will be at the school for the next week.

The school district is sending home a letter today, informing parents of what happened. They didn't send a letter home yesterday because they said they did not have time before the end of the day to contact the boy's family first.