Here we go again…
Another student has unfortunately committed suicide due to persistent bullying from fellow students.
Meet David Q Phan, 14, of Salt Lake City.
This handsome young man was considered by many of the students ofBennion Junior High in the Salt Lake City suburb of Taylorsville, to be a ‘very sweet guy’.
‘He was one of the sweetest guys I’ve ever known,’ said Hunter Evensen, a fellow ninth-grader. He remembered when the teen had bought him a drink and never expected to be paid back for it.
But on Thursday, the pressures of high school drove Phan to do the unthinkable.
Around 1:30pm, Phan left school with his mother at around 1.30pm after a trip to the principal’s office.
Just before 3pm, Phan returned alone to a pedestrian bridge near the school where he came upon several students who had just gotten out of school for the day. Several parents were also present.
That is when Unified Police Lt. Justin Hoyal said the teen pulled out a handgun and shot himself in the head.
When first responders arrived on the scene, Phan was still alive. The teen was rushed by ambulance to Intermountain Medical Center in critical condition, but died a short while later. Police are not yet identifying the teenager.
The bridge where the shooting took place is just off school grounds near the southwest corner of the campus.
On Friday, police revealed that the gun Phan used in the suicide was kept in a locked safe at his home. They do not believe the 14-year-old brought the weapon to the campus.
Horsley said before Phan was let out of school with his mother, he was searched for weapons. The spokesperson did not elaborate what led school officials to search the teen.
‘I was just walking. I hear a big sound and I hear everybody yelling and then I turned around and I saw it and there was a lot of blood,’ Ethan Wily told Fox13.
At around 8pm Thursday, more than 200 people gathered on the bridge, candles in hand, for a vigil. The Salt Lake Tribune reported that they remembered Phan as a kind and friendly soul.
Unified Police detectives are interviewing students who witnessed the shooting, Hoyal said.
Police and school district officials said they don’t yet what led Phan to take his own life, but those who knew the victim said he had endured bullying at the hands of dozens of students.
‘They were just mean to him for no reason,’ classmate Alicia Earl told ABC 4.
A statement posted on the school district’s Facebook page read in part that Phan had been contacted regularly by a counselor over the past 18 months over bullying concerns, but the teen did not report being mistreated or harassed.
Phan’s classmate Makayla Schmidt pointed out that sometimes bullying is hard to detect, especially when it comes to verbal abuse.
‘I heard it, people (talking about him),’ she toldKSL. ‘I don’t think people realize how much words can hurt.’
This story is a sad one…
My child has had issues with bullying also…
And I’ve experienced the school not caring as much as I did…
But one day, after my daughter came home crying and saying she didn’t want to return to school, I made it my business to go to the principal’s office the next school day…
I told the principal that I was no longer going to deal with the effects of my daughter’s torture.
I made him realize that I would become the school’s ‘problem’ if there were anymore problems at the school involving my child.
I quoted the statistics and facts about the correlation between teen suicides, drop out rates, and depression that school bullying brings.
After popping up at the school on several occasions, walking into classrooms, and making a ‘no-nonsense’ presence at her school, the problems eventually vanished.
As a parent, I think it’s your duty to talk to your child.
Find out how their days are going.
Teach your child that bullying is mean, to witness bullying and stay quiet is the act of the weak, and being bullied is not a normal part of life.
Rest In Paradise, David…
No one can hurt you again…
Read more here.