At Fort Lauderdale High School on Thursday morning, a senior who was 17 years old fell to his death from a third-floor balcony, shocking his peers and the staff who tried to save him.
“This morning, unfortunately, we are mourning the loss of one of our own students. Our entire school community is feeling the pain of this, and we send out condolences to the family as well,” Broward School Superintendent Vickie Cartwright said in a media briefing outside the school on Northwest Fourth Avenue. “The young man, unfortunately, did decide to take his own life. It was an isolated incident.”
According to cbsnews, Witnesses claim that the student wrote a letter on his desk shortly before 10 a.m., climbed up an outdoor stairwell, and then leaped off the third-floor balcony. According to Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Chief Stephen Gollan, security officers sprinted to the man to try to revive him while 911 was dialed.
The young man was brought to Broward Health, where doctors declared him dead. Erin Brown, the principal of Fort Lauderdale High School, released the following letter to the school’s students and family on Thursday: “Unfortunately, this morning’s medical emergency involves a student who sadly committed suicide. Our thoughts are with his family, and our hearts are devastated. We are available to all of you.
Brown advised kids and families to contact the school, dial 2-1-1, or go to browardschools.com/student-services if they need assistance.
Even before the COVID pandemic, the situation in young people’s mental health has been getting worse recently. According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report from 2021, 44% of high school students were experiencing depression or hopelessness. Among people aged 15 to 19, suicide is currently the second-leading cause of mortality.
Due to the high number of problematic teenagers, the State Board of Education established a law requiring all public schools in Florida to offer at least five hours of mental health education to students in grades 6 through 12. Many districts are still putting this provision into practice.
Throughout the school day on Thursday, security personnel patrolled the Fort Lauderdale High School campus in an effort to keep people away from the area where the public suicide took place.
The Sun Sentinel was informed by students that pictures of the suicide note and the youngster’s body on a stretcher had been sent through text message to several of his classmates in their classrooms within minutes of the leap and attempts to save the boy.
Paulina Johnson, a junior at Fort Lauderdale High who had the pictures on her phone as she left the school with her mother on Thursday afternoon, said, “We were all in so much shock.” “The images have been seen by the entire school. There are weeping witnesses in the office. All across the school, security is there right now.
The Sun Sentinel received the suicide note via students, which made reference to a recent breakup and expressed the boy’s desperation while pleading with others not to follow in his footsteps.
16-year-old Patience Griffin claimed that she heard the boy land while in her classroom. “Having this happen to one of my classmates is difficult. Although I did not personally know him, he was a student in one of my classes. She is concerned that this will give other kids a bad idea.
After the suicide, some students were crying, while others were stoic, according to a father who lives across the street. Numerous kids, including his daughter, he claimed, had observed the futile rescue operations from the classroom windows.