Almost 600 students were absent at Hoover High School after several suicide notes were found in the boys restroom. The male student in the Birmingham, Alabama area school wrote that he had planned to kill himself on campus last Friday. The unidentified teenage boy reportedly stated that he was depressed.
Hoover High School has a population of about 2,950 students and 222 staff members, according to district administrator Jason Gaston. The high school has won 68 athletic championships between 2000 and 2015. Local police captain Gregg Rector said that the 600 absent students were believed to have been caused by the multiple and identical suicide notes found on campus.
“We believe this student likely acted alone, and it’s not appropriate at this time to judge his actions or behavior,” Hoover Police Captain Rector added. “Our primary focus at this point, along with school officials, is to guide this young man and his family towards appropriate resources.”
Law enforcement investigators were able to identify the teenager who left the suicide notes at Hoover High on Thursday evening. The letters were all reportedly identical. Exactly why the boy left the notes in multiple locations at the school remains unknown. School officials feel that parents concerned that the young man might be bringing a gun to school for a mass shooting and a suicide by cop incident led to the 600 absent students.
— AL.com (@aldotcom) October 8, 2015
Hoover police officers are currently attempting to get help for the student who threatened suicide, MSN reports. Officials at the Alabama school district said they respect the decision by parents to keep the nearly 600 absent students home on Friday. According to Gaston, the normal routine at the school should now resume. He said that the student responsible for the suicide notes, which prompted the 600 absences, has been “dealt with appropriately.”
“We certainly understand, though, that this has been a stressful week for students, parents, and school employees,” Gaston noted.
Some parents of Hoover High students noted concern about dealing with a potentially mentally unstable teen who wanted to kill himself. Students reportedly exercised extreme caution and skipped school on Friday, according to a Star Pulse report. The Hoover High School suicide notes did not mention the method of suicide the teenager was planning, nor did the letters mention any type of weapons or a desire to harm others, AL.com reports.
600 Absent At Hoover High After Suicide Notes Found Inside The Alabama School Building: Nearly 600 absent at H… http://t.co/UPKDLpul0d
— Electric Gherkin (@electricgherkin) October 11, 2015
The Birmingham area school district and the community were fortunate that the suicide notes issues were resolved so quickly, Gaston told the local media. He credited the quiet resolution of the matter to the “investigative excellence” exhibited by both the Hoover Police Department and school principal Don Hulin.
“The sad reality is that we live in uncertain times and occasionally we’re faced with events beyond our control,” Gaston also noted.
The school district official said administrators and staff work to prevent what they can and then confront issues that still occur and deal with them the best way they know how.
“It’s time to put this one behind us and move on,” the Hoover High representative said.
Hoover High School was one of the first “Over the Mountain” schools and began as the W.A. Berry High School. The Alabama campus reportedly offers a “differentiated learning” experience, a low student to teacher ratio, and functions like a much smaller and close-knit campus.
Would you keep your child home from school if notes stating a student was going to commit suicide appeared on campus?
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