A YouTube video “suicide note” posted by a 16 year-old high school student in Louisville, Kentucky, saw the Jefferson County Public School District shut down student network access to YouTube and Twitter this week.
Antoinette Konz, reporting for The Courier-Journal, stated district leadership explained that they were buying time to allow students to receive any assistance they might need in the wake of this tragedy. The video, however, was rapidly shared among students.
Some students were still able to access the Internet using their own cell phones. This pas September, the school board had voted that students would be allowed to have their personal cell phones since they could be used for educational purposes.
Some experts agreed with the district’s shutdown of access to the social media sites saying that a cool-off period for the students allowed officials time to decide on how best to address the situation and support the students.
New York City Schools Chancellor, Carmen Farina,said in a private meeting with new school principals on Saturday, that during the two months she has been in her position 10 public school students have committed suicide. Her message to the principals was to identify troubled and lonely children, and “reach out to them” according to CBS New York.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free and confidential support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Callers are connected to a trained counselor at an area crisis center.