KAUKAUNA - A 9th grade Kaukauna High School student killed himself Monday night.
He is the sixth student in the district to commit suicide in the last four years. Two teachers have also taken their own lives over that time.
When it comes to suicide, Kaukauna Superintendent Mark Duerwaechter says his district is in a different spot because of its history. But he says the district deals with the issue like other schools across the nation.
“We certainly know this issue impacts all schools, but we have to do our job,” said Duerwaechter.
That job started with planning at 10 o'clock Monday night after Kaukauna's principal was told a student took his life. Before school started Tuesday, the district's Trauma and Loss in Children or TLC team met. Teachers then told students of the suicide. Duerwaechter says about 100 students visited with counselors throughout the day.
“Death, suicide brings back lots of different emotions for different people,” said Duerwaechter. “You can have ten different people reacting very differently to death.”
Four years ago, an annual suicide awareness walk started in Kaukauna. This year's walk is on Saturday. Duerwaechter says it will be an important part of the grieving process.
“We have to come together to resolve this issue,” said Duerwaechter. “It can't be solved just by the community or just by the schools.”
Peggy Corsi is one of the people who will be taking part in Kaukauna's Walk for Suicide Awareness.
“My brother died by suicide seven years ago,” said Corsi. “When I learned there were warning signs I could not believe it. It was like a slap in the face.”
Corsi says she has learned suicide doesn't single out anyone or any community. She says it can happen to anyone.
“By attending walks and events such as suicide awareness or suicide prevention, again it just reminds everyone that we're all in this world together, we are not alone,” said Corsi.
School District officials say they don't know why this teen took his life. They say they will continue to evaluate how the district handles such tragedies.
For more details and resources on suicide prevention, go to this special section on our website.
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