Thursday night, May 18th, Guilford High School Principal Julia Chaffe sent a notice to parents informing us that a student had tried to commit suicide at school that day. She advised us to speak with our children and said counseling would be available.
Thank God someone discovered it quickly, and the student survived.
We took the principal's advice and spoke with our children about the incident. We knew that Superintendent Paul Freeman had started to push diversity, equity, and inclusion in Guilford (DEI). It sounded harmless enough.
Our kids were not surprised by the suicide attempt. According to them, most of the students are angry or depressed. A lot take medication. We had never heard of any kid going to school to commit suicide. Why would kids be angry or depressed?
They told us.
Race or sexual orientation was a part of everything discussed. Being white gave them an unfair advantage in life. America was built on slavery. You are the gender you feel you are, and there are way more than two. Some kids wear tails in school because they identify as animals. If you didn't believe this, you better not say it out loud. Republicans and Christians are intolerant. Being trans is amazing, but people are transphobic. Climate change was going to destroy the planet soon, and the police were killing black people. There was nothing positive. There is no optimism about the future. No hope.
When they finished explaining, we felt depressed.
Was it enough to make you hate school and yourself? Was this why a young person would go to school to commit suicide? Could this cause students to want to hurt others? Our kids believed it could happen. They reminded us of the boy who wore a gas mask to school because he wanted to kill Jews.
We can't say with certainty that it has a connection to the suicide attempt. We can say it is not a healthy environment for young minds. It is toxic. It is divisive. It is dangerous. What are students not learning?
We thank you for allowing us to share our story with you. We hope it will serve as a warning to what is probably already happening in your town. Our children will not be going back to public school in September.Submitted By Concerned Guilford Residents