Archive for October 12th, 2010

by Pete Talbot

Five middle school suicides in the past year. Twenty attempted suicides. In a town of less than a thousand. In a school of fewer than 160.

This is criminal negligence.

It happened in Poplar, Montana, and the story is in today’s paper. The gist of the piece was about a principal who singled out kids at a student assembly for getting Fs. If true, well, that’s pretty sad.

But that’s not really the story. Kids as young as ten are taking their own lives out of desperation. It’s an unbroken cycle of poverty and hopelessness; while the rest of us turn a blind eye.

Here’s the best link I could find at the Great Falls Tribune but the suicides are buried in the story. The online Lee Newspapers have no mention of the suicides. (It was reported in the print edition of the Missoulian.) That’s unconscionable. It should have been the lead story on every newscast and in every newspaper across the state … and it should have happened months ago.

Where else should the blame lie? Our state and national governments, for sure. Our disparate education system. Society as a whole. The list goes on.

Can you imagine the outcry if this had happened at Washington Middle School in Missoula? No expense would be spared. Every expert in the region, every anti-suicide program that’s ever been conceived, would be employed to prevent this from happening.

But it happened in Poplar on the Fort Peck Reservation where, apparently, kids aren’t quite as valuable.

We should all be ashamed and make sure this doesn’t happen again on this reservation or any other school, anywhere.

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By Duganz

People who’ve heard me run my mouth, be bombastic, and generally be one of those awful folks who becomes a comedian when he’s given an audience, are usually shocked that I was picked on, and suicidal through most of my freshman year in high school.

I don’t usually mention that year because, well, it’s sad. And it bums me out. And that’s not very funny for my audience.

But it’s the middle of National Bullying Prevention Month, and there seems to be a lot of bullying lately. By no means am I trying to overshadow tragedies like this, I just feel that there is a good chance someone reading has a kid (or is a kid) going through this. And maybe the more bullying stories we all share–among friends, in the comments section, in a video for the ItGetsBetterProject— the more people will get involved to stop bullying.

So this is the story of when my bullies nearly won.

Beware, salty language follows. Continue Reading »




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