alright, tumblr, i have a juicy new story for you.
heres the story: in lake central high school, in a town very near to mine, former student Mike Doss’s father recently passed away. in order to sustain his family he had to quit school and get a job. he only quit school THIS PAST FEBRUARY.
very recently, Doss killed himself. the students of lake central high school repeatedly asked the staff to have a moment of silence on the morning announcements and were told no every time. so they arranged this VERY PEACEFUL sit-in of about 200 students, shown in the video above, to demand a moment of silence. (another student also committed suicide after this sit in, but there is uncertainty over whether there is a connection between the two deaths.)
the video fluctuates in volume and is often hard to hear, so you may want to turn it up.
it opens with many students yelling for silence so the standing female student can request a moment of silence. not only does the principal shoot her down, he doesnt even acknowledge her, telling her “youre not in charge here, i am” and asking the students coldly to take out their school ids. this causes a little bit of a commotion, but when the principal asks for their attention, they give it.
he then begins to express his “disappointment”, to which another student responds, “yeah, were disappointed in you too”. there is NO VIOLENCE AND NO DISRUPTION from this student. the rest of the students cheer for him, but the principal immediately asks police, who are standing nearby, to ARREST THE STUDENT. the other students are very passive and nonviolent, even moving out of the way of the policemen.
the principal then asks for their attention again – WHICH THEY GIVE – and begins to, and quite condescendingly i might add, tell the students that he thinks theyre here because they think its a JOKE! of course, the students are rightly pissed off about this. one girl even yells, “you would do it for anyone else!”
the video ends with a shot of the policemen DRAGGING the young male student away, and the rest of the sit-in cheering for him for standing his ground.
this article in the northwest indiana times gives a little bit more information about the situation, and also caps a note the principal sent to parents about the suicide/sit-in and how the students “did not handle it properly”. the note reads:
“While I refer to what took place Wednesday as a sit-in, it was an incident that involved many mixed emotions, including my own. There is no easy solution when 200 kids decide to create a sit-in within the middle of the school in order to demonstrate a point of view, while making demands. Options could range from yell (and yell louder), make threats, have police arrest them all, suspend them all … etc., all this while trying to reason with emotional teenagers who have defined a personal purpose, but who also need to get back to class.”
get back to class? GET BACK TO CLASS??? these kids are upset and emotional and you want them to GET BACK TO CLASS?????
and what about the option of, i dont know, actually talking to the human beings in front of you, who are hurt and upset and right in their cause? this man has a bachelors degree from wabash college in english, language arts, and teacher education, a masters degree from indiana university in educational leadership and administration, and has been the dean of students at munster high school and the assistant principal/athletic director at lake central high school before becoming the principal. yet, with all this education, he refuses to acknowledge the situation, even going on to call the sit-in a DISRUPTION!
the note continues,
"We have always practiced a different protocol of acknowledgment for a suicide death, which involves minimal publicity in order to not glorify the suicide.”
the reason the school would not give this poor kid an announcement and moment of silence is because THEY DONT WANT TO GLORIFY SUICIDE. if a student dies in a car crash and they make an announcement, that doesnt glorify car crashes, and if a student is murdered and they make an announcement, that doesnt glorify murder. but apparently everyone in the public school system has their head shoved too far up their ass to realize that KIDS DO NOT KILL THEMSELVES FOR THE ATTENTION.
and after all this, the principal has the AUDACITY to say that, even after all these students have been through, they need to “get back to class”.
so, what am i asking from you, tumblr? SPREAD THIS LIKE WILDFIRE. you wanna know whats wrong with the american school system? its not the pressure, or the grades, or the college. its refusing to acknowledge that kids are human beings, too, with minds and emotions of their own in the first place.
so please, please, please signal boost. tell everyone you know what happened. its making big news in the area, but thats about it. however, this happens everywhere, all the time, and im about sick of it. people need to know, and this is a giant community.
spread this for mike doss, the other unnamed student, and every other child who has committed suicide and gotten no acknowledgement because the schools “dont want to glorify suicide”. its time to do something about it.
some other articles on the sit-in:
Remind me to never read youtube comments again, they just make me angry
This is disgusting. I remember when my high school had a student who committed suicide. We not only had a long moment of silence, they played one of his favorite songs over the intercom, and they allowed students to go to the auditorium instead of class at any time so they could talk to counselors or just to grieve. Most of the teachers threw out their lesson plans for the day and talked to their students instead because everyone was so upset. And when it was time for the funeral, every student had the choice to leave school early and attend it.
That’s how you handle it. You don’t sweep it under a rug like the person who died never existed. They deserve to be remembered and these students deserve the opportunity to grieve.