I was at work a few days ago and decided to take a break, so I picked up The Times and was pretty startled by the story on the front page dealing with the protest/sit-in at Lake Central High School.
As I read further into the story and subsequently did some research (on the Internet and social media), I found out the incidents were sparked by the suicide of a former student, and current students were unhappy with the way Lake Central administration handled it.
While I’m not there and I didn’t know the student, I can say I understand the students’ frustrations as well as the administration’s actions.
To the students, it felt like the school was just attempting to sweep their fallen classmate underneath the proverbial cloak of invisibility by not acknowledging the death, and what better way to get the attention of everybody but to stage a sit-in?
While the sit-in garnered the recognition they sought, it also became a hazard to the safety and learning of other students who weren’t (and were) involved. Running high on emotions and adrenaline, anything could have happened from either side. On both ends, the situation could have been handled differently.
But it wasn’t. And my job (or really anyone else’s) isn’t to speak of the hypothetical “what ifs” and “would’ve, could’ve, should’ve.”
I have personally and indirectly had to tackle suicide, and it isn’t easy. No matter how far or close, a loss is a loss.
Since I have that understanding, I truly empathize with the students of Lake Central, and I want to say it gets better. It is not what they want to hear, but it is what they need. You miss them forever, but it won’t hurt forever.
Celebrate his life by remembering all the amazing things you loved in him, and cherish those memories.
Neither the students nor the administration can go back in time and change anything, but they can use this time as an opportunity to come closer together as they support each other through this tumultuous period in their lives.