Opinion The Tattoo

Teens tackle suicide issue

This is an editorial that ran in The Bristol Press.

There is something uniquely sad about a youngster who chooses

At a time when opportunities are just beginning to unfold, teenagers
too often fail to see the road ahead and too frequently see death
as a solution to transient woes.

The issue is explored in today’s paper by a group of area high school
students who have devoted many months to a project they hope will
save lives.

In five gripping stories, members of the newspaper’s student
journalism group, The Tattoo, offer a look at the problem from many

Amanda Lehmert, a Bristol Central sophomore, tells the story of a
distraught seventh grader who nearly killed herself – but fortunately
pulled through.

Another story, by Lehmert and fellow Central sophomore Danielle
Ouimet, tries valiantly to explain why 17-year-old Neil Krupski
committed suicide last winter.

But his father, John Krupski, knows better than anyone that the reasons
will remain shrouded forever.

I feel like all the questions weren’t answered,” he told the students.I feel like I was cheated out of a life with my son.”

Another Tattoo staff writer, Bryan Pena, provides a powerful personal
account of his reaction to his friend Neil’s death.

In a story by Bristol Eastern junior Brian LaRue, the head of Bristol
Hospital’s emergency medicine department warns that teen suicide
is “at epidemic proportions.”

The students spent hours digging through thousands of death records
in the clerk’s offices of Bristol, Plymouth and Plainville to find out
for themselves.

They discovered 93 teenagers have died in the area during the past
15 years, mostly from accidents.

They determined that at least 16 local teens died from suicide during
the period. Many more, of course, tried but luckily survived.

The students, who work under the direction of Press reporters Jackie
Majerus and Steve Collins, used the records to track down grieving
parents willing to talk.

They also spoke with counselors, doctors and others who could shed
light on the subject.

Their page includes warning signs to watch for and phone numbers to
call in case you or someone you love needs help. Don’t hesitate to pick
up the phone, whatever your age.

We urge everyone to take a look at the students’ work, now available
on the World Wide Web, and share it with others. It is important

Leave a Comment