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Schalmont Student’s Suicide Under Investigation: Bullying May Be a Factor

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Over the weekend, the unthinkable happened as a Schalmont High School student committed suicide and now police are investigating the matter, questioning if bullying was a factor.

The name of the teen is not being released by Rotterdam police at this time, but they did tell NEWS10 that an investigation is underway surrounding the death. Police say the 14-year-old was a freshman at Schalmont High School.

Could bullying be a factor? Police are looking into that in their investigation but say school officials never heard any complaints from the boy.

The school sent out a letter to parents of students about the matter.

It is with profound sadness that I write this letter. On Saturday, Oct. 19, we lost a member of our high school student body to suicide. Our sincere condolences and thoughts go out to the family and friends of our student.

This is a situation that generates high levels of anxiety and distress in our children. As a means of offering support to our students during this time of crisis, counseling services are being made available in the library all day today (Monday) and will continue as needed during the week.

Facing the issue of teen suicide is an endeavor that calls for joint school and parent involvement. Please reach out for our counseling services or those listed on the reverse side of this letter if you see any of the following signs/symptoms in your child: talks about committing suicide; has trouble eating or sleeping; experiences drastic changes in behavior; withdraws from friends and/or social activities or hobbies; loses interest in hobbies, school, personal appearance; gives away prized possessions or appears to be “saying goodbye”; has attempted suicide before; takes unnecessary risks; has had recent severe losses of friends or family.

Your child may be affected by this most recent tragedy even if he or she did not know the student well. We encourage you to talk to your child about what has happened. Discussing thoughts and feelings about death is important toward helping your child work through his or her grief. We, as a district, are balancing our duty of keeping you informed while being cautious not to, in any way, “glamorize” the act of suicide.

If you feel your child needs to speak to a guidance counselor, social worker or other adult, please direct your concerns to their counselor. (CLICK HERE to read full letter)

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