A 10-year-old boy died on Friday after he jumped from a second-story window at his school, following an argument with a classmate over a game of chess.
An eyewitness who was at the scene at the time of the incident, Elmer Pascia, told reporters, “When I looked, there was a lady in the window, like you know, talking to the people down below frantically.”
Soon after he jumped, falling fatally onto the concrete below, paramedics as well as teachers and other passersby all tried to help the child, who attended the Grant School in Dumont, New Jersey.
Pascia added, “I saw him moving, wearing trousers, I saw him moving his legs, and his hands, and they were attending to him.”
The suicide reportedly took place during the school’s lunch hour, while a teacher’s aide and some students sat in the classroom, which the boy jumped from.
The superintendent of Dumont Schools, Emanuel Triggiano, also spoke to reporters about the tragedy.
“There were a number of students who were in the classroom and we’ve provided them with some assistance and we will continue to provide them with assistance through the weekend and on Monday.”
A parent of one of the students from the school, who was very disturbed by the suicide told reporters, “It’s very concerning, but stuff happens, it happens, we don’t know what really happened. We have to find that out,” said Jay Poche.
Another concerned parent, Ana Nunez, also pointed out that the correct safety precautions for such an eventuality were not in place, as she said, “Why are there not safety guard windows for the second floor to prevent something like this? How did the window open, how wide?”
While Nunez makes a valid point, there’s no question that if a child wants to commit suicide in such a way, they will always be able to find a place to jump from. The fact that the Grant School victim chose his classroom window is unfortunate, as well as sad.