Firearms and a suicide at my niece’s high school

A boy committed suicide at my niece’s high school, Central High School, in Evansville.

Photo via Scorestream

Photo via Scorestream

It’s a tragedy and the aftermath had me wondering about issues surrounding the event.

I woke up, let my dog out, and my mom said “there was a suicide at Olivia’s school today.”

The first thing I did was text my niece and ask if she was alright. For a moment my mind began to race as I ran through all the possible scenarios where my 15-year old niece may have been injured – or worse. This didn’t last long as she texted me back within minutes saying she was fine and her father didn’t take her to school that morning. Evidently my sister heard of the incident on a police scanner and informed my niece’s father.

The local media made the decision to reveal the name of the 15-year old’s who committed suicide. (I have mixed emotions about this, but something like this is solely up to the editor.)

What happened to this boy is already a tragedy and my heart goes out to his parents. (Apparently I’m not alone. A GoFundme page has been setup and raised nearly $10,000 to help his family with funeral costs.)

Then, the inevitable rumors began to unfold.

The boy was found with two more firearms and rounds of ammunition. (I was informed of this before the news reported it, albeit incorrectly stating he was in possession of some 400-500 rounds of ammunition.)

Of course this revelation has people in the area wondering if there something more deadly may have happened that morning at Central High School. This is completely understandable, but I can’t help wondering how much of this type of thinking is a stretch and how much is reasonable.

Then I sit back and think how sad it is to be considering either.

It seems as though his suicide has already been attributed to bullying, though I can’t really figure out who’s the one saying, “Yup, this was the problem.” What I do see is several news pieces springing up overnight calling for action against bulling and parents wanting more security at Central High School.

The rumors didn’t stop and came from both parents and students (this is high school after all.) My niece told me there was a rumor there would be another shooting today at the school, this time by the friends of the individual who committed suicide. “Like throwing gasoline on a fire,” I couldn’t help thinking.

And of all the things I’ve read about this incident, perhaps the only one that makes any sense was sent while I was writing this post. Here’s my niece’s thoughts on the rumors surrounding her school and I’m stunned with how much we agree about the entire episode.

In high school they tell you:

1) Not to date the seniors

2) Don’t procrastinate

3) Make friends with the teachers

What they don’t tell you though is that you’ll get messages at 11:02 pm to not come to school, because the kid who killed himself in front of the school two days prior, his friends are gonna shoot up the school. Unfortunately we live in a world where suicide is a normal thing.  People feel so out of place that they believe the only way out is to take their own life.  Even more unfortunate is that getting a screenshot of a conversation where people are talking about people shooting up your school is a thing.

Social media can be blessing and a curse.  

Someone can say something and it spreads like wildfire.  What’s going around is more than likely a rumor, but in all honesty which is worse?  Having someone planning to shoot up a school or rumors of it?  

Let this poor boy and his family rest.  

My 15-year old niece was able to sum up exactly what I was trying to say, but she did a better job using less words.