Southeast Polk struggles with suicides

Sep 23, 2008 Full story: Des Moines Register 97

Three teenage suicides in five months. One question: Why? Southeast Polk High School students wore wristbands in Kyle Johnson's memory when the football team captain shot himself before prom last spring.

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Sydney Parks

Colfax, IA

#1 Nov 11, 2008
Sometimes i think that they do it for attention and sometimes i think that they think their life is that bad that they cant fix it and can live no longer. I went to SEP all my life from preschool all the way to 8th grade and i moved to Colfax Mingo. I miss most of the things at Southeast Polk but one thing i do not miss is hearing about all of the suicides that go on there. i was hoping this would stop but from the way it is looking it seems to be getting worse. I no most of the people who do this but my question is WHY? WHY make everything worse for your friends and for your family? Just imagane how ur fsmily will feel after this happens. Living their life without beeing able to see their kids do the greatest things like graduate or get MARRIED. or even have kids. just THINK how your family and friends will react. PLEASE. you may think ur life is bad but thats when u go to ur family to get help...

_Syd_ney__Par_ks!
henrey

Colfax, IA

#2 Nov 11, 2008
Sydney Parks wrote:
Sometimes i think that they do it for attention and sometimes i think that they think their life is that bad that they cant fix it and can live no longer. I went to SEP all my life from preschool all the way to 8th grade and i moved to Colfax Mingo. I miss most of the things at Southeast Polk but one thing i do not miss is hearing about all of the suicides that go on there. i was hoping this would stop but from the way it is looking it seems to be getting worse. I no most of the people who do this but my question is WHY? WHY make everything worse for your friends and for your family? Just imagane how ur fsmily will feel after this happens. Living their life without beeing able to see their kids do the greatest things like graduate or get MARRIED. or even have kids. just THINK how your family and friends will react. PLEASE. you may think ur life is bad but thats when u go to ur family to get help...
_Syd_ney__Par_ks!
I theink you are totly right they think their life is bad try liveing at Colfax
youtwoareidiots

United States

#3 Nov 12, 2008
dont talk about this if you're not a part. You have no idea what we're going through or the struggles we face day to day if you are not currently inrolled in the HIGH SCHOOL. The fact you guys discuss this on here is disgustion.
SEPforlife

United States

#4 Nov 27, 2008
I totally agree!!! Don'ttalk about this whole ordeal when you are not even affected by it and don't know what we are going through! I love that school to death...after all I spent most of my educational experience in that district! I tears me up when I recieve phone calls saying..it's happened again...or did you hear??!! I just can't believe all of the tragedies going on at my school! It hurt knowinng these kids and seeeing them happy one day and gone the next...people don't understand a thing that we are going through...and I know these guys didn't do this for ATTENTION!!!! The star of the football team doesn't die to get attention...it just doesn't work that way.....SEP FOR LIFE!!!
Sydney Parks

Colfax, IA

#5 Dec 1, 2008
youtwoareidiots wrote:
dont talk about this if you're not a part. You have no idea what we're going through or the struggles we face day to day if you are not currently inrolled in the HIGH SCHOOL. The fact you guys discuss this on here is disgustion.
well i went to that school most of my life untill this year and i knew the kid very well so i have EVERY right to talk about this.
Sydney Parks

Colfax, IA

#6 Dec 1, 2008
SEPforlife wrote:
I totally agree!!! Don'ttalk about this whole ordeal when you are not even affected by it and don't know what we are going through! I love that school to death...after all I spent most of my educational experience in that district! I tears me up when I recieve phone calls saying..it's happened again...or did you hear??!! I just can't believe all of the tragedies going on at my school! It hurt knowinng these kids and seeeing them happy one day and gone the next...people don't understand a thing that we are going through...and I know these guys didn't do this for ATTENTION!!!! The star of the football team doesn't die to get attention...it just doesn't work that way.....SEP FOR LIFE!!!
Okay i agree that you get upset when people talk about this if they dont go to that school. BUT you need to realize that just because i dont go to that school any more doesnt mean it doesnt effect me.
S_447P_47P_477_

Colfax, IA

#7 Dec 2, 2008
I agree with both of the situations...I don't think the Star football player did this for attention but you need to think of how many other kids did this not just the star football player. Everyone sees how people reacted about star football player but do you ever think that they reacted that way because he was so popular and if someone from a differant click did this yeah people would be hurt but not react as much?? i think thats ssssoooo wrong. I knew the kid that just recently did this and that makes me ANGRY when people talk about this and they dont need to!!!! yep and i TOTALLY agreee that it CAN affect you in many ways although you don't go to that school! sooo...yeah just quit talking about this online!!!
Rachel

Chagrin Falls, OH

#8 Dec 2, 2008
I do believe sydney has every right to talk about it because im good friends with her sister cassidee and i know that jeff was close to her.... I think that no matter what they did it for attention or not its still a tragedy and it needs to be fixed. Im not going to think of jeff any less then i did when i knew him because people are saying that he did it for attention. i think that any one would agree with me when i say its hard on everyone even if you didnt directly know the person, there is a problem at our school and it needs to be helped. Maybe this is a cry for help from the students maybe its not just for attention maybe its really because they cant handle life any more and its just getting to hard, and maybe they just see that when kj did it he got away from his problems and thought that was a good idea. I wont think any less of anyone that died or will die....i loved jeff and even if he did want attention, it wont change that...
Rachel

Chagrin Falls, OH

#9 Dec 2, 2008
and YES I Do go to southeast polk!
Sydney Parks

Colfax, IA

#10 Dec 5, 2008
Rachel wrote:
I do believe sydney has every right to talk about it because im good friends with her sister cassidee and i know that jeff was close to her.... I think that no matter what they did it for attention or not its still a tragedy and it needs to be fixed. Im not going to think of jeff any less then i did when i knew him because people are saying that he did it for attention. i think that any one would agree with me when i say its hard on everyone even if you didnt directly know the person, there is a problem at our school and it needs to be helped. Maybe this is a cry for help from the students maybe its not just for attention maybe its really because they cant handle life any more and its just getting to hard, and maybe they just see that when kj did it he got away from his problems and thought that was a good idea. I wont think any less of anyone that died or will die....i loved jeff and even if he did want attention, it wont change that...
Finally somebody understands that just because you dont go to that school doesnt mean it will not effect you. Thanks Rachel for understanding what was said. Thanks for having my back.
I will NEVER forget any one that has died,got seriously injured or for future happenings.(i hope there is not)
Kay_

Waukee, IA

#11 Dec 6, 2008
you guys need to just drop it. you dont know what goes on in their lives. or why they did it. and you cant make assumptions. some people feel they need to do it inorder to be happy. i highly doubt someone would take their life just for "attention" that's rediculous to even think! jesus. and no, i dont go to sep, but i have many friends there and we talk about suicides a lot in my history class.
Sydney Parks

Colfax, IA

#12 Dec 8, 2008
okay!!!
Megan_Pettit

Rochester, NY

#13 Dec 12, 2008
wow, i went to that school in seventh grade. my best friend dated Jeff raymond and me and jeff were close.
Dylan Wentland died in a car crash that wasn't his fault. i had him in all my classes and he always teased me. i miss him sooooo much. he is on my myspace as a friend and everytime i look at his picture i get sad. I miss both of them very much.
_Sydney _Parks_

Colfax, IA

#14 Dec 18, 2008
I hope the best for all of the familys that are going through a hard time right now. and will ALWAYS remember Jeff! I Miss You!!! TO the familys that are going through a hard time right now with this: Good luck,keep praying and don't worrie you will get throught this. it will take a LONG time but i wish you the best!!!!
Kelsi

Des Moines, IA

#15 Dec 19, 2008
I am a senior at SEP, and I get what she means when she says don't talk about it if you don't go to school here. It's annoying when people don't know what they are talking about and judge us. For Sydney though she at least knows SEP and people from there. I just think if you don't know what your talking about don't voice your opinion unless it is something nice to say.

Of course no one knows why they did it. And no one will. Don't make assumptions though. The people who went to school with them don't even really know why. I'm sure they didn't do it for "attention." Just like kay_ said, its pretty sad that people would even say that. It is a horrible thing to choose don't get me wrong but you dont know what their home life was like or what pressures they had. I'm not saying what they did was okay because it is effecting my whole school. I can't even imagine what their families are going thru. I just ask that people either say nice things or say nothing at all. We have all been thru enough.
Thanks.
Rachel

Birmingham, AL

#16 Dec 21, 2008
I dont really think any one ment the attention thing in a bad way...but I do agree with the if you dont know what your talking about dont say anything but I do believe that most of the people on this page know what they are talking about..

Noone does know why they did it but granted eveyone weather they knew any of the people that died or not they are always gana talk about it I mean its world news....people are gana talk and voice their opinions...I just hope that whatever opinions they have they dont make it hurtful to the people that actualy have lost someone. and i really dont think its going to be droped any time soon...its a major thing that happened to our school...it wont be droped that fast...people have died and alot at that its not just something you can drop and let roll off ur shoulder...we have lost good friends and to some even family.
jen

Des Moines, IA

#17 Dec 23, 2008
Thank you so much! the love and support are school need comes from people like you who are strong in your school! "We are the RAMS and we are mighty" - Mr. Stalter
youtwoareidiots wrote:
dont talk about this if you're not a part. You have no idea what we're going through or the struggles we face day to day if you are not currently inrolled in the HIGH SCHOOL. The fact you guys discuss this on here is disgustion.
Jeffs Cousin

Breda, IA

#18 Dec 23, 2008
As a graduate from SEP myself in '83, I read these articles from the perspective as a former SEP alumni and a cousin to Jeff. As a former student I must say that the speculation that Jeff or any of the other kids, did this for attention is ludracris! We had our share of tragedy while I was attending SEP. There was the shooting death of Valarie Rockafellow in the middle of the afternoon in the hallway, then her ex-boyfriend took his life after taking hers. What I am trying to say is that there are many reasons that drives a person to feel that they have no way, other than death, to cope with life's daily drama. It is taught by parents, teachers, even friends. One of the biggest lessons I learned growing up is that "in 5 minutes or 5 years, will this really matter". In Jeff's case, losing his dad and grandfather at such a young age did matter and mattered a great deal. Obviously he found no one in his life circle that could help him deal with his underlying grief. You teens are great at letting people see what you want them too. Don't dwell on Jeff and the other kids, his memory should be that he taught us all a lesson. To live life, embrace the genuine people who love you, when something hurts don't pretend it doesn't, and never ever forget that the people in your life was placed there for a reason. Turn to your parents, or a teacher, let them in your heart, don't be afraid to show sadness along with joy. When you remove your barriers you will find, that even if someone takes advantage of your open heart, you will gain an inner strength that will let you accomplish anything. I know you have all heard that when life throws you a lemon, make lemonade... well I am 43 now, time flies by.. my oldest daughter graduated from SEP 5 years ago. Time to dry your eyes, lift up your hearts and celebrate the season. Those we love remain with us, for love itself lives on. And cherished memories never fade because a loved one's gone... Those we love can never be more than a thought apart, for as long as there is memory, they'll live on in our heart. RIP Jeffrey, may God keep you safely embraced, and say hi to your dad for me.
amber

United States

#19 Jan 3, 2009
i think that if u have that bad of a life or think that then get some help i bet u would be scared i would ive gone to southeast polk for 7 or 8 yrs its sad that we have somany suicides i get embarresed when people ask me where i go to school and i say southeast pk then they go o well ur school has so many sucides i hope that u dont turn out like that or i would never let my kids go there there is to many suicides thats embarrasing.

~~AMBER~~
silver_morphine

United States

#20 Jan 4, 2009
I think that if you go to the school then you should be able to comment about all of them. But if you don't go to our school, and if YOU don't know them, then what gives you the right? I am a proud member of SEP grad '09. I've know every single one of them. Don't comment about things you don't quite grasp. Don't turn this into some kind of board where you think your the only one right. You are being insencere. We don't know why they did it. We will probably never know. So don't judge them. Don't tarnish their good name by claiming they were just an attention seeker. It's not right. You weren't at the funerals and visitations. You never saw the tear stained faces of your peers. Don't judge who you don't even know.

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