Community responds to student suicide
Original post made
on Oct 20, 2009
The Gunn High School student who died on the Caltrain tracks Monday night has been identified as William Dickens, 17, a junior at the school.
"We at school are all struggling to come to terms with this incomprehensible loss," Gunn Principal Noreen Likins said in a brief message to Gunn families.
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posted Tuesday, October 20, 2009, 6:58 AM
Posted by Gunn/JLS Parent
a resident of Gunn High School
on Oct 22, 2009 at 10:35 am
All of us want to help our teens, but recognize each teenager is unique, has his/her own issue, to generalize the problem won't help to solve the issue. As the parent of two Gunn students and one JLSer, I'd like to share our experience in working with our kids, hopefully, it will provide some help to others.
All three of our kids are doing well academically in school, the oldest one is a senior, she is ranked in top 4th, and her brothers are doing just as well academically. All of them spent a lot of time on sports, music, and other after-school activities. They had stress from each of those activities from time to time, but those DOWN time is very few, compare to the UP time when they really enjoy their activities, and the results they achieved.
When we talked to our kids, they all told us that the high school are much easier than they expected, because they all heard the 'horrible' story about 'stay up all night' for home work while they were in middle school. We sat down with our kids once a while, or whenever they appears/complains about 'overloaded', all we did was to go over their schedule and the work/activity load, each time we came to the same conclusion that they can handle all of those work rather easily, the key is the time-management. I have a senior, a sopho, and a 8th grade, so far, only the senior had to worked past midnight a couple times in his entire high school career, all of them go to bed around 10:30pm, get up before 7:00am. Yes, they do have their life outside of the school, as a matter of fact, all of them are invoking in the student government body, participate the community service, playing rather serious sports, and doing some music as well. They hang out with their friends often, especially the weekend.
Some might say that maybe your kids are smarter, but knowing our kids and their friends, I can assure you that they are all just average kids, none of them can be called 'genius'. From what they told us that the problem with many of their peers is the 'bad' time management, they often spent too much time hang around after school, play computer/video games, before they start working on the homework in late night. I'm not saying this is what happens for all the teens, but based on what we see from our kids, and their feedback, we think there is a lot of truth to this.
I think the teens really need a lot of help from their parents at this stage of their life, especially the help on better managing their schedule. Stress is unavoidable in high school, that's the last stop to prepare your teens to face the real life. The important thing is to teach them how to handle it.