Student Takes Own Life at a Lyons (Illinois) Middle School

Police do not believe the student had any intention to carry out a mass shooting and no students or faculty members were injured.
Published: April 19, 2019

A seventh-grade student died by suicide Wednesday at his Lyons, Illinois, middle school.

Police said the student took his own life around 1:30 p.m. at George Washington Middle School and was taken to Loyola Hospital where he died, reports CBS Chicago.

The school was put on lockdown and students were released around 2:30 p.m.

Police said no other students, faculty or staff were injured or in any immediate danger. One source said the student took his life in the privacy of a restroom, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

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District spokesperson Ray Hanania, said there is no evidence to make the police believe the student ever had intentions to carry out a mass shooting.

“This kind of incident is always a great tragedy for everyone, the family, the students, the school and the entire community,” said Lyons Village President Christopher Getty. “We’re heartbroken to hear that this happened.”

According to one law enforcement source, the student was having a bad week and possibly under stress with work assignments. He was also found with a note, the source said.

A recent study showed a significant rise in the number of school-age children and teens contemplating or attempting suicide in the United States.

The second highest rise was seen among teens aged 12 to 14, who accounted for 37 percent of all cases.

“There are increasing rates of anxiety and depression in youth and young adults. Some people have theorized that social media is playing a role,” said study author Dr. Gregory Plemmons, an associate professor of pediatrics with the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt University.

Plemmons said the shortage of specialists means more pediatricians may find themselves on the front lines treating depression and anxiety.

Warning Signs of Suicide

  • Talking about wanting to die
  • Looking for a way to kill oneself
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no purpose
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
  • Acting anxious, agitated or recklessly
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Withdrawing or feeling isolated
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
  • Displaying extreme mood swings

The more of these signs a person shows, the greater the risk. Warning signs are associated with suicide but may not be what causes suicide.

What to Do

If someone you know exhibits warning signs of suicide:

  • Do not leave the person alone
  • Remove any firearms, alcohol, drugs or sharp objects that could be used in a suicide attempt
  • Call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255)
  • Take the person to an emergency room or seek help from a medical or mental health professional

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