I woke up feeling frustrated today. And sad and mad and all sort of emotions. I got on the AWARE page and saw that we are making progress for awareness. I saw for the first time the you tube tribute to Keenon. Everyone should watch it. It is spot on. I got on Sue Wygul Martin’s page. I remember being at church the Sunday after her attempt. Our families are/were friends. I was young, but I remember knowing exactly what she was feeling when she pulled the trigger. I remember understanding why she did it. Scary isn’t it? It is a dark place. I was not about to express these feelings with anyone. They would just get mad at me, wouldn’t they? Why would a 10/11 year old think this way? They do though and it is just too hard to express into words.
I read an article on suicide in affluent societies. The pressure these high school students are under to achieve. Why in the world do we have three different diplomas in MBHS? Diploma, Advanced Diploma and what I like to call Super Advanced Diploma. Then they tell you in the same breath that colleges don’t even look at that. Really?! I haven’t looked at the statistics but what is the number of the children that end up going to Auburn and Alabama and even Ole Miss or LSU? Do you need a super advanced diploma for those schools? I understand the “harder” schools look at the courses you take, but why put the pressure of the three diplomas on a 15/16 year old? That is like asking them to go ahead and declare their college major as a freshman in high school. I know I am ranting, and if you understand teenage depression and suicide and saw the you tube video, you know that these kids have this planned for some time. But I do believe this exacerbates the problem. Lay off these kids.
I am preaching to the choir because I know I push my oldest child too much. But since this, I am just trying to get him to feel pride in accomplishing his personal academic goals. He is smart but very stubborn and doesn’t want to be told to study harder. It backfires every time! He inherited my brain(not the smart part, that came from Daddy!), so I know his thought processes. I have to stay in tuned with that fine line between teenage surliness and depression. It is a scary thing for a parent to think your child may feel hopeless and nowhere to turn.
So, where do we go from here? We start with the AWARE meeting at MB city council building at 5:30. Please come. Then we get the teens involved. I know these kids who were friends with these boys feel helpless. Let’s get a fundraiser or awareness day through the villages where the shops have special sales or we close off the streets and have student bands play. I don’t know. Just let these kids take some ownership so that the kid that sits next to them in history doesn’t do the same thing. Let’s make a dent in this. We have the Mountain Brook Foundation that raises money for extra education/ supplies for the schools. Let’s ask them to get involved. We have very affluent families in this community. Ask them for sponsorships for whatever event we come up with. Let’s come together and shed some light on this and not sweep it under the rug until it happens again.
Whew, now I feel a little better. Hug your kids, tell them you love them and go get some vitamin D.