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Editorial: It's time to start talking about suicide

 We as a society are squeamish about death, especially suicide. We just can't bear to discuss it for fear of glorifying it, making it a romantic note of revisionist history.

We need to get over it and start talking.


It's unfortunate that in the viral world of the Internet, Menahga school administrators found themselves backed into a corner on an issue they hadn't had time to consider fully.

Should a memorial to a deceased student be allowed? If we allow one, will it encourage copycat suicides?

One mother weighs in on the subject this week. Renee Anderson is the grieving mother of a boy who took his life a year ago. She knows whereof she speaks.

Schools are in an uncomfortable position, trying to help students recover from family and societal tragedies. Is this one more responsibility to thrust upon them?

Where do guilt-stricken kids and teachers go to collectively grieve? To heal? Will acknowledgement of what is becoming an epidemic spawn despondent kids who want the same glory to repeat a horrible act?

Peer pressure and the fear of being set apart from the crowd might suggest so.

But in the case of two recent suicides, the signs were there, families are discovering too late. Both boys left clear signals that should have been picked up on. And maybe that's why we don't want to discuss suicide.

We share the collective guilt that something was wrong but no one spoke up.

Thursday a tiny North Dakota town suffered the grief of a student shooting himself. Will it end?

We can't wait for hard evidence to find our voices.

We need to report despondent thoughts voiced aloud, threats that are masked by humor, pleas for attention that go unnoticed.

Schools need to find their own way to deal with these issues and they don't need newspapers to tell them how. They already have plenty of parents doing just that.

For now, we need to continue to speak up and speak to each other.

Did you really mean to say that? What do you need to help you through this?

We need to consider those offhand remarks as serious threats. Because we sometimes don't get a second chance to misread the tea leaves.

Cloaking suicide in shadows may be partly the fault of the media. Should this newspaper begin publishing causes of death, including suicides, when everyone on Facebook knows it all anyway?

Let us hear from you.