El Dorado parents are gathering to show love for students after a suicide note was found

Greg Williams
Butler County Times Gazette
"You are Loved" sign outside of El Dorado Middle School

Heather Griffith and the Facebook group "Healing & Living Courageously" are asking people to gather at the El Dorado Middle School to support and show endless love to students on Friday, Nov. 19 at 3:45 p.m.

The call-out for supports comes after seventh-grade parents received an email from Principal Karla King asking for assistance in identifying a handwritten anonymous note on Monday, Nov. 15.

"I'm not happy," said in the note. "I'm ending it on November 21st. Please stop me. I'm only 12. I don't wanna leave but I also do..."

As of the last update from King, the child still hasn't been identified; however other issues have been brought up through the attempt to identify the student. 

"That is exactly why I called to bring the community together in this dire situation," said Crisis Intervention Trained Officer Heather Griffith. "This child may never be positively identified, but this child needs to know that their cries were heard. After every suicide, everyone always says that they wish they would have known or read the signs. Well, we now know and now this is our chance to make a difference."

Griffith and the group are asking that everyone brings signs with a positive message written on them for everyone to see as they depart. Everyone will gather in the Middle School parking lot and overflow parking will be available at Hope Covenant Church. 

Do not park on Wildcat Way or cause congestion for the traffic. For the gathering, they will have everyone line up on the sidewalks in a similar fashion to a parade but will keep a safe distance from the roadways.

Depending on the gauged attendance, there may be law enforcement presence to ensure safety and show their support.

"If we let these cries fall on deaf ears then we are saying to the entire community that a plea for help is not enough," said Griffith. "We need to tell this child that their plea is enough. We hear them and we are here for them. This child needs to feel the love and support of this community! Not only this child but all 450 students!"

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) WISQARS Leading Causes of Death Reports, in 2019:

  • Suicide was the tenth leading cause of death overall in the United States, claiming the lives of over 47,500 people.
  • Suicide was the second leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 10 and 34, and the fourth leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 35 and 44.
  • There were nearly two and a half times as many suicides (47,511) in the United States as there were homicides (19,141).

Here is the event page for more information about signs and what you can do to share your support on Friday.

Need help? Someone to talk to?

If you are in crisis, call the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The service is available to anyone. All calls are confidential.

http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org

Don’t feel like talking? Text HOME to 741741 to connect with a Crisis Counselor. Free 24/7 support at your fingertips.

Greg Williams has been the reporter for the Wellington Daily News and Butler County Times-Gazette since May 2021. You can reach him at GWilliams@gannett.com or on Twitter at @GregWilliams28.