Spokane schools host anti-suicide forum

Parents address suicide at Garry Middle School forum

SPOKANE, Wash. – Spokane Public Schools hosted an anti-suicide forum on Monday at Garry Middle School. Sadness and anger were just some of the reactions from parents at the forum, and for most of the night, parents really wanted to address bullying.

The forum came less than a week after 13-year old Macie Zenishek committed suicide because her friends and family said she was bullied.

"I guarantee you, I have resources I will bring down on the school if this does not stop!," one parent said emphatically.

School workers said the meeting is to talk about the problem of teen suicide and to help grieving students at Garry. Psychologists were on hand to answer any questions from worried parents.

When it came to discussing the issues facing their kids, Spokane's parents did not hold back.

"You wanna prevent suicide, prevent bullying!" another parent said, drawing a large applause from other parents. "These kids are gonna kill themselves!"

Inside the cafeteria at Garry Middle School hundreds of worried parents stirred in their seats, waiting to take the microphone about a growing issues affecting kids everywhere.

"My son was hospitalized for two weeks because he wanted to die," a parent said.

One of the focuses of the forum was highlighting the warning signs of someone who is potentially suicidal.

On Saturday, a candlelight vigil was held to honor Zenishek. As memorials for Zenishek grow, the reason for her death is a heated discussion for most parents.

"You have kids nowadays that are dealing with things that 20 years ago, I wasn't dealing with," said another parent.

Zenishek was the sixth local teen to commit suicide in the last year alone. At Monday's meeting, many parents demanded that educators change the methods -- and start focusing more on bullying.

"There needs to be a different protocol that you guys need to do," said a parent.

Spokane's educators insisted that Monday's meeting was just the beginning. They said they hope to start a discussion about bullying and suicide all to prevent future memorials from popping up in your kid's school.

Spokane-area kids are not alone in this problem. A recent nationwide study found suicide to be the third leading cause of death among teens across the country.

© 2017 KREM-TV


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