As I’m sure many of you already know on May 3 a student at McKinleyville High School committed suicide. Waking up that Friday morning and hearing school was canceled was at first exciting until I learned the reason why – one of our fellow classmates was dead.
Initially, we didn’t know what was going on, or why school was canceled. Within an hour, after many phone calls and group chats with friends and classmates, we soon figured out what was going on. We didn’t even have to read the reports being released by online news sources because we already knew what had happened and we knew who it was.
It was devastating, truly. Over the weekend we were offered grief counseling at various locations, but nothing could have prepared anyone for the following Monday. Walking through the school, the atmosphere was gloomy A fellow classmate said “it felt like walking through the rain.”
A fellow students said “The day just seemed dull. Not a smile for miles.” There was a police officer standing in the quad that morning just watching. As I walked down the hall I saw girls crying and giving each other big, emotional hugs.
Other than the teachers spending more time outside with their students, and the comforting emails from our school principal, there were two students who in my mind went a little above and beyond to bring comfort to students
Chelsea Rodriguez and Yuma Hamiche decided they would hand out a special treat candy bars with a special message on them. The message read ”Smile, you deserve to be happy, You're important to us all.”
In an interview, Rodriguez said it was Hamiche’s idea ,not hers, but they did both purchase the treats. When asked why she said “Some people don’t realize how much they matter to the overall community. Most of the kids we handed them out to I never really talked with before and reaching out gave me more hope that those students will spread it to others.”
The suicide definitely shook the whole community but it also showed us that we have an amazing community that helps each other during a crisis.
Shasta Brown is a student at McKinleyville High School.