Some Parents Say CMS Isn't Doing Enough To Prevent Student Suicide

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by Kirk Hawkins

DAVIDSON, N.C.--Bennett McCoy is finally able to move forward with his life after struggling with the loss of a close friend who committed suicide last August. "It's terrible. It's just so unexpected." McCoy said.

Bennett says his friend is one of at least three students at Hough High School in Cornelius who took their own lives since 2011. Overwhelmed by this tragic trend, Bennett and his family took a suicide prevention training class. "I'd be so thrilled if I could do anything to make these kids deaths meaningful to someone else to save someone else," said Susan McCoy.

But they are frustrated because they say Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools isn't doing anything to help them share what they've learned. CMS says counselors are available daily at all schools for any
students who feel suicidal. But, a district spokesperson says it's not a good idea to announce suicides to others students because it's such a sensitive issue. "Mental illness is a fact. It's not a threat to the community. The thing that is a threat  to the community is not dealing with mental
 illness in a forthright manner," said Martin McCoy.

After they were touched by teen suicide, the McCoy's say they learned a few simple steps can make a difference to recognize warning signs. "I've been okay recently...but I still think about it a lot,"
said Bennett McCoy.  Preventing a few months or even a lifetime of suffering for the people suicide leaves behind.

While they don't have programs for students to identify the causes of suicide. CMS says it has workshops and courses for parents about suicide prevention.

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