justice for will and spencer
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my name is catherine miller. i am a Junior at farragut high school in knoxville, tennessee.
yesterday, Will Bannister, a sophomore at our school was pronounced dead after a suicide attempt. will was one of the funniest, wildest, most original, and most outgoing students at our school. we are heartbroken.
This is the second student from our school in the span of one semester.
Spencer Schultz, another sophomore at Farragut, committed suicide in January of this year.
when Spencer died, our school swept it under the rug. administration did not discuss it with anyone. teachers proceeded with class the next day as if nothing had ever happened. i am hesitant to believe if the situation, or even the topic of suicide and mental illness, was properly discussed we would not have to mourn two of our peers. especially in one semester.
when we found out that we lost Will to this epidemic too, we started asking the question we should have asked more all along. "why aren't we talking about this?"
the school refuses to put a brick in our memorial garden, for the fear of "glorifying" and "encouraging"suicide. The fact of the matter is,if we were talking about this BEFORE two students took their own lives, maybe we wouldn't be here.
this is an epidemic. suicide can no longer claim the lives of our friends and family. we can no longer accept that we are told to "sit down and shut up" by administration when trying to cover their backs. we need to outlaw the phrase "it won't happen to us", because guess what? it just did.
me and my peers want 3 things to happen:
first, we want to discuss suicide more openly (and regularly for that matter). it is too important of an issue to wait until someone, nevertheless two teenages, die.
secondly, we want Spencer and Will to receive the justice they deserve. we want two bricks, one for Will and one for Spencer, placed in our memorial garden. just because their minds were consumed by mental illness does not mean that they don't deserve the respect that everyone else would receive.
lastly, we want an apology from administration for not addressing this situation earlier. we have lost two loved ones, and no lawsuit (which i am honestly not sure was even there in the first place) could ever outweigh the price of a child's life.
with your signature we could convince the school board to provide all three of those things and quite possibly end this from happening again to a child whose life is to precious to end.
rest easy Will, rest easy Spencer. we will not let you be forgotten and we will not be quiet for, even a moment.
(disclaimer: i am asking for these things on behalf of the students at farragut high school, not family members of Will and Spencer)
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