You are not alone: Community reeling after Spokane teen takes ow - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

You are not alone: Community reeling after Spokane teen takes own life

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Suicide is a tragedy no matter the age, but this age in particular, early teens, is traumatic on a different level. Suicide is a tragedy no matter the age, but this age in particular, early teens, is traumatic on a different level.
SPOKANE, Wash. -

You are not alone. 

A heartbreaking story after a thirteen year old girl in the Spokane Public School District has taken her own life.  This is the first suicide of the school year in the district. 

Last year there were four teen suicides in SPS, so many that the district actually held special forums about teen suicide.    

Normally we wouldn't discuss this topic but KHQ has received so many calls and questions about this particular instance we felt it had to be addressed. 

There were concerns from parents that children were being sent home due to grief and concerns that the school was taking down a makeshift memorial. 

Suicide is a tragedy no matter the age, but this age in particular, early teens, is traumatic on a different level.  Most of these kids have never dealt with death at all, let alone the death of one of their peers. 

What happened at Garry Middle School created a somewhat volatile situation.  It made it hard for parents and the school district to try to navigate how to effectively deal with the grief. 

Normally the school sends in counselors to talk to the kids one on one and otherwise they stay pretty quiet about what happened.  In this case, the news broke on social media, as it often does these days and the students responded by openly expressing their grief. 

On Thursday students held a memorial before school to express the many emotions they're feeling over the sudden and tragic loss of their friend. 

"They just lost one of their peers and it's scary," says SPS psychologist, Dr. David Crump. 

"It's scary and unexplainable," says Dr. Crump. "There are so many questions and like with many deaths, like this there are no clear answers."   

"Some kids will go to an adult and talk, some kids will go to Facebook, another student will withdraw," says Dr. Crump.  "They're really struggling to say 'what do I do with something that doesn't make any sense?'"  

"It's tragic really. I'm at a loss for words," says Distro, the uncle of a student who was friends with the teen who took her life.    

Parents and students reached out to KHQ on Facebook saying that the girl may have been bullied and that led to the tragic decision.  The district told us they have not been able to find anything to prove that but are continuing to investigate.   

"We're concerned about it affecting children and having another life lost," says Distro.   

The school does want the children to be able to express their grief, they just want to be careful about the way they do it. 

"We want to celebrate a life," says Dr. Crump.  "We don't want to celebrate a suicide."

After the memorial happened, the school took it down.  They are very honest about concern over "idolizing" a suicide, and creating a situation where other children would want that attention without understanding how permanent death is. 

We did learn that some students walked out of class to go to the memorial.  There were rumors those kids got in trouble.  Parents were there to help mediate, we did learn through the district those students are not facing any consequences. 

Dr. Crump says it's very important if you see or know of bullying going on to tell a trusted adult.  "We can't do anything if we don't know about it and often time where the intervention needs to take place is one on one."

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