Polk County's Ridiculous Protocol

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Wow is the first word that came to my mind as I read an article of a sixth grader who had sadly written a suicide note and handed it to a fellow classmate. An even bigger WOW came when the school chose to send this young child to a justice center and treated him like a criminal.

I literally can’t begin to wrap my brain around the ignorant and insane “protocol” that the school officials believed they were following? When someone is suicidal, that individual is a threat to themselves not others.

As a mom, it breaks my heart to even think that a child would consider taking his or her own life. What makes me angry is the lack of care and knowledge in the Polk County school system for their mishandling of such a delicate situation. There is zero reasoning or excuse for the school's actions and lack there of.

These children will never feel safe to talk about suicide because of this incident. In their fragile little minds, they will think of their fellow classmate who reached out in the only way he felt he could and then was sent off like an inmate that committed a crime.

Listen up everyone, suicide is very real. The ages in which this is happening is starting younger and younger. Our world is a messed up place and these kids struggle daily more than we parents even know. We have to help our children better than this!

Shame on Polk County school district and all who were involved in the mishandling of this situation. “Fixing” the protocol isn’t going to help the damage that has been done to these kids already. This school needs some serious intervention to help these kids understand suicide, suicide prevention and how to help others facing it. This needs to be a huge wake up call to any and all school districts on how their protocols work.

We send our kids to school in hopes that they are safe and being cared for, not this! Some parents may argue that kids don’t need to know what suicide is because they are too young. Ten years ago I would’ve agreed with those same parents. The reality is this: We live in a different day and time where technology has taken over and kids are being bullied. They see and hear so much more on the internet, YouTube, and movies than we parents want to acknowledge.

As a parent, I don’t want to have to talk to my kids about suicide, but guess what? I had to. This topic is not one to take lightly in any way. My heart goes out to the young boy and his mom in this situation.                     

Nicole Morris 


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