An Michigan eighth grader used a handgun to commit suicide in a school bathroom on Thursday morning. The tragic incident raised questions about bullying, his mental state, and how he obtained the gun in the first place.
Davidson Middle School, located in Southgate, Michigan, was put on lockdown and parents were asked to pick up their children after a fellow student found the boy in the bathroom just before classes started at 8:15 a.m.
A school district official said the student brought the .40-caliber handgun, believed to belong to a family member, into the upstairs bathroom where he shot himself.
Police allowed the students to enter the school to retrieve their belongings before being released to parents and guardians. Many students exiting the school looked "visibly shaken."
Lt. Kasper Ohannasian of the Southgate Police could not confirm any information about the student except his gender and grade level.
People across the country are expressing sympathy via Twitter.
"To many young kids taking there live! [sic] My prayers go out to Davidson middle school," read one. "Jesus please be with the students and teachers in Davidson Middle School and comfort the family of the student who took his life please," said another.
This report comes not one year after a 7-year-old boy, also from the Detroit area, was found hanging from a bunk bed after an alleged suicide. The boy's death also appeared to be related to his parents' divorce.
The adults in these children's lives have a responsibility for their well-being. It is more important than ever, no matter one'stheir views on gun control, to ensure that firearms are kept out of reach from anyone unauthorized to use them. Adults must also take steps to maintain approachability and staykeep updated on their child's mental state, especially when they are going through a traumatic event like a divorce.
KidsHealth and several other websites provide information about depression and other mental disorders, and has steps an adult can take to see if a child they know is depressed. A tragedy like this should never have to occur.