Fired Teacher Returns to School, Kills Headmistress and Himself

Although some students thought their former teacher, Shane Schumert, would return to the school and “do something,” nobody really saw it coming when he did.

On March 6, 2012, Schumert returned to Episcopal High School, a private high school in Florida where he had worked until earlier that morning when he had been fired with an AK-47 assault rifle hidden in a guitar case. He shot and killed the school’s headmistress, Dale Regan, and then turned the gun on himself and committed suicide.

Details concerning why Schumert was dismissed have not been released, but one student, Maria Boyance, told a local newspaper that she heard he had been fired and was escorted out of the school. Boyance described Schumert as being an “awkward man.”

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Mental Health Needs Increasing at Colleges

The New York Times is reporting an increase in the mental health needs of college students. A rising need for suicide intervention, counseling and hospitalizations are popping up across the country. One can’t help but wonder what is causing depression in students and other mental health disorders.

Bullying is a problem among all age groups. The moment you place a group of people together (whether they are three years old or in college) there will be bullies. Toy-snatching and cooties turn into fear and ignorance as we get older. We now know that the acceptance of others can play a huge role in our own mental health. One should never depend on approval from somebody else, but safety and comfort shouldn’t be sacrificed either. Anti-bullying campaigns are popping up everywhere as people start to realize the vital importance of treating each other well.

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Parents to Sue Rutgers Over Son’s Suicide

One college student’s suicide has brought his parents to sue his school. On Friday, the parents of Tyler Clementi notified Rutgers University that they intend to sue the school over their son’s September suicide.

Clementi jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge after a webcam video of him being intimate with another man was allegedly broadcasted on the Internet.

Joseph and Jane Clementi’s attorney, Stephen DeFeo, said the university did not protect the college freshman from “unlawful or otherwise improper acts perpetrated against (him.)”

DeFeo filed the notice stating “It appears Rutgers University failed to act, failed to put in place and/or failed to implement, and enforce policies and practices that would have prevented or deterred such acts, and that Rutgers failed to act timely and appropriately.”

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High School Teacher Kills Himself at School

western-high-schoolThe community at Western High School in Las Vegas is shocked by the tragic news of Michael Roberts’ death. The high school science teacher shot himself in the head on Monday afternoon in the middle of campus. “At about 2:30, one single shot was heard by the staff here at Western High School,” said Lt. Ken Young, Clark County School District Police. School was not in session.

“It’s a big tragedy,” former student Christopher Thompson told KNTV. “In the middle of the day… I’m thankful that school wasn’t in session. I wouldn’t want the kids to see something like that.” Staff members dialed 911 after they heard a shot, and the body was discovered by police.

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Joel Burns Offers Words of Hope for GLBT Teens

joel burnsOctober 11 was National Coming Out Day, a day meant to provide support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people.

Unfortunately, even this national movement for acceptance has not been preventing the suicides of many teens who have been bullied because of their sexual orientation.

According to The Huffington Post, approximately 90 percent of GLBT students were physically or verbally abused in 2009. This intense bullying is what led Asher Brown, 13, Bill Lucas, 15, Seth Walsh, 13, Tyler Clemenit, 18, and Zach Harrington, 19, to commit suicide. Gay teens are four times more likely than straight teens to attempt suicide, mainly because they do not feel accepted by their peers.

Joel Burns is an openly gay city councilman in Fort Worth, TX. At a city council meeting on October 12, 2010, Burns reached out to GLBT students around the world. Listen to his message of hope for all students who are being bullied. Read the rest of this entry »

Celebrities Speak Out Against Anti-LGBTQ Bullying

celebs-speak-outLGBTQ activist and sex columnist Dan Savage launched the “It Gets Better Project” YouTube channel to collect inspirational messages for young gay, bi and questioning people who may be struggling in high school or college. The effort has gotten much attention in the light a string of gay teens died by suicide in the past weeks. The channel attracted hundreds of video messages and rapidly reached its maximum capacity.

Many other celebrities have come forward with video messages, including Neil Patrick Harris, Ellen DeGeneres, Lala and Ciara, Jason Derulo and the cast of the Broadway musical Wicked.

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Support, Resources and Suicide Prevention for Gay Teens

the-trevor-projectThe recent suicides of five gay teenagers in the past three weeks has a lot of people talking about acceptance of gay teens, suicide prevention resources and bullying. An onslaught of celebrities, journalists and activists have been speaking out against anti-gay bullying and giving encouragement to other gay teens who may be suffering from depression and suicidal thoughts.

In addition to the suicide prevention resources available to all teens and young people, there is also specialized support for those who identify as lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender or queer.

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Rutgers Student Posts Suicide Video Note on Facebook

Tyler Clementi Facebook Photo

Tyler Clementi Facebook Photo

Suicide notes are common in society these days, but the adaptation of social media has taken a morbid turn. Eighteen-year-old Rutgers University freshman Tyler Clementi took to the popular website Facebook to post a goodbye suicide-note-like video message on his personal account page.

Clementi, according to local law enforcement, sadly committed suicide last week after jumping off the George Washington Bridge. It is believed his suicide was a result of Clementi’s roommate streaming a video on the internet of Clementi engaging in a homosexual activity that his roommate secretly taped. The video was posted on September 19, 2010 and Rutger’s students Molly Wei and his roommate, Dharun Ravi, have been each charged with invasion of privacy. Read the rest of this entry »

Student Commits Suicide Because of Being Bullied

Phoebe Prince: Image Via

Phoebe Prince: Image Via

“Sticks and stones may break your bones but words can never hurt you” is a phrase many parents tell their children to comfort them when they’re upset about a playground bully’s taunting behavior.

In Phoebe Prince’s case it wasn’t sticks and stones, but it was a combination of the scarf her sister had given her for Christmas, an energy drink can, endless taunting and berating and the cruel slurs her peers shouted at her in the high school cafeteria.

Found by her sister, almost three months ago, Prince reportedly hung herself with a noose she assembled from her scarf in her parents home because of the constant bullying she faced daily at her school, South Hadley High School in Massachusetts. Students at the school apparently harassed her, calling her an “Irish whore”, defacing her photos in public places, and sending her death threats via the social media networking site, Facebook.

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Students and Depression

depressed studentEvery college student knows that ridiculous amounts of stress are part of the college experience. We struggle with trying to pick a college majorthat will get us a job we will actually like, pull all-nighters for exams that are worth a majority of our grade, have fights with friends and family members, and worry about trying to find a job in a bad economy.

College is also a time of change.

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