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

Posted: Updated:
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."

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • A pet translator could be available in the next 10 years

    A pet translator could be available in the next 10 years

    Tuesday, January 16 2018 12:24 AM EST2018-01-16 05:24:08 GMT

    What's the first thing you would do if you had a pet translator and you could understand your dog or cat? I'd probably immediately let my cat know how sorry I am for stepping on her tail all those times. Recent advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning suggest the dream of communicating with your pets could become a reality.

    >>

    What's the first thing you would do if you had a pet translator and you could understand your dog or cat? I'd probably immediately let my cat know how sorry I am for stepping on her tail all those times. Recent advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning suggest the dream of communicating with your pets could become a reality.

    >>
  • Parents arrested after 13 victims, ages 2 to 29, discovered held captive in California home

    Parents arrested after 13 victims, ages 2 to 29, discovered held captive in California home

    Tuesday, January 16 2018 2:09 AM EST2018-01-16 07:09:07 GMT

    PERRIS, California - Two parents are being held on $9 million bail each after a horrific discovery at a home in Perris, California Sunday.  The Riverside County Sheriff's Department says a 17-year-old girl escaped from her house in the 100 block of Muir Woods Road, in Perris and managed to call 911 from a cell phone she found inside the house.

    >>

    PERRIS, California - Two parents are being held on $9 million bail each after a horrific discovery at a home in Perris, California Sunday.  The Riverside County Sheriff's Department says a 17-year-old girl escaped from her house in the 100 block of Muir Woods Road, in Perris and managed to call 911 from a cell phone she found inside the house.

    >>
  • Intoxicated driver ditches stolen car after crashing into 6 vehicles downtown

    Intoxicated driver ditches stolen car after crashing into 6 vehicles downtown

    Monday, January 15 2018 8:25 PM EST2018-01-16 01:25:56 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane Police responded to downtown Spokane Monday afternoon for a reported crash. The crash involved several vehicles and a drunk man taking off on foot, leaving his stolen vehicle behind. It happened around 1 p.m. Officers responded to the area of Main and Lincoln for a crash. As officers started to arrive in the area, they learned that the man who caused the crash was leaving the scene on foot.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane Police responded to downtown Spokane Monday afternoon for a reported crash. The crash involved several vehicles and a drunk man taking off on foot, leaving his stolen vehicle behind. It happened around 1 p.m. Officers responded to the area of Main and Lincoln for a crash. As officers started to arrive in the area, they learned that the man who caused the crash was leaving the scene on foot.

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • Walmart offers way to turn leftover opioids into useless gel

    Walmart offers way to turn leftover opioids into useless gel

    Wednesday, January 17 2018 1:49 AM EST2018-01-17 06:49:49 GMT

    Walmart is helping customers get rid of leftover opioids by giving them packets that turn the addictive painkillers into a useless gel.    The retail giant announced Wednesday that it will provide the packets free with opioid prescriptions filled at its 4,700 U.S. pharmacies.

    >>

    Walmart is helping customers get rid of leftover opioids by giving them packets that turn the addictive painkillers into a useless gel.    The retail giant announced Wednesday that it will provide the packets free with opioid prescriptions filled at its 4,700 U.S. pharmacies.

    >>
  • Conservatives balk at GOP plan to avert government shutdown

    Conservatives balk at GOP plan to avert government shutdown

    Wednesday, January 17 2018 1:36 AM EST2018-01-17 06:36:45 GMT

    WASHINGTON (AP) - Hard-line conservatives are threatening to scuttle Republican leaders' plans to prevent a weekend government shutdown, saying GOP leaders now lack the votes to push their proposal through the House.    The setback comes as a deal between President Donald Trump and Congress to protect young immigrants from deportation also remains distant.

    >>

    WASHINGTON (AP) - Hard-line conservatives are threatening to scuttle Republican leaders' plans to prevent a weekend government shutdown, saying GOP leaders now lack the votes to push their proposal through the House.    The setback comes as a deal between President Donald Trump and Congress to protect young immigrants from deportation also remains distant.

    >>
  • Disabled family says they're trapped at home after only car stolen

    Disabled family says they're trapped at home after only car stolen

    Wednesday, January 17 2018 1:27 AM EST2018-01-17 06:27:27 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - A Spokane family is left disabled and distressed after someone took off with their only mode of transportation early Tuesday morning. It happened in north Spokane off N. Maple. Gayle Session and Jack Fruin are both disabled and say multiple people depend on that car to get to appointments.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - A Spokane family is left disabled and distressed after someone took off with their only mode of transportation early Tuesday morning. It happened in north Spokane off N. Maple. Gayle Session and Jack Fruin are both disabled and say multiple people depend on that car to get to appointments.

    >>