Saturday, July 27, 2019

Some thoughts on Joplin R-8, teen suicide and this week's top Turner Report/Inside Joplin posts

Several years ago, I was in my classroom at South Middle School after school grading newspapers with an eighth grade girl stopped by said hi and then stayed in the room while I was grading papers.

She played music on the radio, occasionally talked to me the kinds of things teenagers talk about and stayed about 30 to 45 minutes.

It was not the first time a student had stopped by me to talk with me, nor was it the last and I did not see it as anything special. I wanted my students to always feel welcome in my classroom.

I did not realize at the time how special that conversation really was.

The girl later told me she had been contemplating killing herself and just the fact that I was willing to listen to her made her rethink her situation.

I had no idea.

I had always taken my responsibility as a classroom teacher seriously, but that day really put things into perspective for me.

Anyone who works with children needs to be aware of the incredible pressures they are under, especially in this age of social media and cyberbullying.

That was why the social media blowup over a Joplin R-8 bus driver's Facebook post about the way some R-8 employees were sloughing off a suicide prevention training video earlier this week caught my attention.

We have had a serious problem with teen suicide in this area and at Joplin High School in particular. The R-8 District has made suicide prevention a primary goal and this training video was designed to bring everyone who works with children into being a part of the solution.

I have a hard time believing more than a few of the employees were not taking the training seriously, but when you have something that is this important and we are talking about lives here, there is no room for juvenile Facebook posts. sleeping during a training session or texting.

I really do not think my eighth grade student would have killed herself if I had been in a bad mood and told her I did not have time to talk to her that afternoon.

Thankfully, I will never know.

All I know is she is alive and the world is richer for it.

Showing some kindness and decency may not prevent a child from making a tragic decision, but it never hurts.

And if you are going to work with children, it is not an imposition to watch a video that could help save a life.

This week's most visited Turner Report, Inside Joplin and Inside Joplin Obituaries posts are featured below with links to each of them.

The Turner Report

1. Sarcoxie woman did meth, handed sex offender a condom, watched him rape 13-year-old and she got a plea bargain

2. Despite recent JHS suicides, some R-8 employees mock, sleep during prevention training session

3. Webb City man who beat, choked, threatened to kill man because he served in National Guard pleads guilty

4. Former Joplin/Webb City police officer expected to plead guilty to child pornography charges

5. Opening statement: Fear of Honkies led to shooting of Jasper County deputy

6. The challenges facing Troy Onstott

7. Oklahoma sex offender pleads guilty to raping 13-year-old in Carthage motel

8. Joplin R-8 Board hires five teachers, 22 classified employees, six substitutes, accepts two resignations

9. Reputed Joplin Honkies member in jail without bond after being arrested on weapons charge

10. Fear of Honkies leads to St. Louis area man's acquittal for shooting Jasper County deputty

Inside Joplin

1, Joplin man faces felony meth trafficking, weapons charges, Carterville woman charged with possession following two-county pursuit

2. Joplin woman seriously injured in collision with Freightliner, charged with meth possession

3. JPD; Jopiln man arrested after throwing 29 grams of meth under vehicle while talking to officer

4. Joplin man charged with DWI after causing four-vehicle accident on Kodiak Road

5. Joplin Police Department Weekend Arrests

6. Joplin Police Department Arrests July 25-26

7. Jasper County Dissolution of Marriage Petitions

8. U. S. Bankruptcy Court Petitions- Joplin

9. Nevada woman charged with DWI after collision on 43 injures Oronogo woman

10. Webb City man injured in three-vehicle accident on 171

Inside Joplin Obituaries

1. Maci Guinn

2. Terah Hallam

3. Erica Calkins

4. David VanGorkom

5. Glenna Terry

6. Jean Lovell

7. Stephen Darnell

8. Katheryn Sitton

9. Emma Poe

10. Jo Baldwin

No comments: