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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk
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    12.07.17 @ 12:54 PM
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    Default Second-Grader Commits Suicide in New Jersey

    Prosecutor: Boy, 7, hanged himself

    VINELAND -- A 7-year-old boy who died at home Wednesday hanged himself, the prosecutor's office said.

    The boy, who was reported to be a very good student, might have been upset about receiving a poor mark at school earlier in the day, sources said.

    The Cunningham Elementary second-grader hanged himself in the bedroom of his East Chestnut Avenue home, Cumberland County Prosecutor Ronald J. Casella said.

    Neither the boy nor his family has been formally identified by official sources.
    Detective Lt. Tom Ulrich said several family members were in the home when the boy died.

    According to reports, his body was discovered after he failed to answer his parent's call to dinner.

    Neighbors said he was an outwardly fun-loving boy who played in the large yard of his family's two-story, wood-frame house along Chestnut Avenue, near the former Newcomb Hospital.

    The family lived there for about two years without much interaction with neighbors. But all appeared well from a distance, said neighbors bordering the family's home.

    The family left the house Wednesday night after the incident, according to neighbors who declined to give their names.

    Attempts to contact the family at their home Thursday were unsuccessful.

    Administrators at Cunningham were not available for comment Thursday evening, but letters were sent home with second-grade students that afternoon notifying parents of the student's death, said Linda Santagata, Vineland assistant superintendent of student personnel services.

    The boy was not identified in the letter, but school officials wanted parents to understand their child "might come home sad," Santagata said.

    The letter explained that a student at the school died, the children were notified, and parents were encouraged to speak with their children about death and how to cope. Attached to the letter was an article from the National Psychology Association concerning how to talk to children about death and grieving.

    Nine counselors in the district joined Cunningham's two counselors, social worker and Santagata to speak with any students. The counselor's office, open to all of the school's 500 students, was filled with people all day.

    The counseling will be available for as long as it's needed, Santagata said, adding young children might not fully grasp the depth of the situation.

    "Children that age may not understand the concept of death. They just know they suddenly feel sad," she said.

    Faculty meetings were held at the beginning and end of the school day to allow teachers and students to speak and grieve. Santagata said the staff was "very upset."

    Vineland spokesperson John Sbrana said the district -- between administration, counselors and social workers -- has a strong crisis team for incidents like the death of a student.

    "It's a terrible tragedy," he said. "We're reaching out to the family as much as we can. It's an unspeakable thing to happen to a family."

    Principal Monica Dannenberger and assistant principal Debra Bechtel visited the home on Chestnut Avenue to comfort the family. Santagata said Bechtel and Dannenberger talked to them about not feeling "guilt about something they might not have seen" coming.

    Santagata said the boy had a normal home life, was doing well in school and in the Gifted and Talented program, and was well-liked by friends. He never had to be disciplined for any reason, she added.

    She wouldn't talk about whether a sudden change in his personal or school life might have been the cause.

    Charges likely won't be filed, police said Thursday.

    "It is tragic when a child dies, no matter what the circumstance," Lt. Ulrich said.
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.Ē -- Gen. George S. Patton

  2. #2
    Baluchitherium loveevhsince79's Avatar
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    10.23.15 @ 04:49 PM
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    That is incredibly sad. My heart goes out to those parents and what they will be dealing with, not only the grief but the way in which it happened. Wow.
    Last edited by loveevhsince79; 10.29.07 at 12:11 PM.

  3. #3
    Atomic Punk ZeoBandit's Avatar
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    How sad......
    "What we are dealing with here, is a complete lack of respect for the law" - Jackie Gleason, Smokey and the Bandit

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  4. #4
    carpe damn diem billy007's Avatar
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    What concerns me is that a 7-year-old even knows to do that to himself...

  5. #5
    Baluchitherium KT's Avatar
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    08.08.17 @ 07:44 PM
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    This is one of the most devastating, and quite honestly nauseating, things I've read in a long time. It's hard for me to believe that an 8 yr. old child could come up with, and then execute, this plan. I'm not saying I don't believe it happened, although I wouldn't be surprised if there were something "fishy" about this story. I just can't comprehend how an 8-yr. old could want to do something like this. Furthermore, is an 8-yr. old even capable of doing this, physically I mean? I guess maybe so...this is just really disturbing. I'll be curious to know more details about whether or not the child was being treated for any type of emotional disorders/depression. The normal 8 yr. old just doesn't think in these terms (death and what death really means---the finality of it--- are very abstract concepts to a young child). So sad and disturbing... but something seems very unsettling about this to me.
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  6. #6
    PM Goo with your concerns OLO's Avatar
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    12.10.17 @ 09:52 PM
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    Very sad story.
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  7. #7
    Atomic Punk
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    07.24.11 @ 04:36 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by ktgiles View Post
    This is one of the most devastating, and quite honestly nauseating, things I've read in a long time. It's hard for me to believe that an 8 yr. old child could come up with, and then execute, this plan. I'm not saying I don't believe it happened, although I wouldn't be surprised if there were something "fishy" about this story. I just can't comprehend how an 8-yr. old could want to do something like this. Furthermore, is an 8-yr. old even capable of doing this, physically I mean? I guess maybe so...this is just really disturbing. I'll be curious to know more details about whether or not the child was being treated for any type of emotional disorders/depression. The normal 8 yr. old just doesn't think in these terms (death and what death really means---the finality of it--- are very abstract concepts to a young child). So sad and disturbing... but something seems very unsettling about this to me.
    yeah I'm with you...the average 7-8 year old kid just doesn't really have a clear picture of what suicide, death, murder are. It's actually pretty shocking to hear about a kid that age going about the business of hanging himself. Could this have been a game he was playing with himself that ended up like it did? Could he have heard expressions like "enough rope to hang himself" or seen a movie or some crap like that and decided to "hang himself" not realizing what was going on?

  8. #8
    Baluchitherium loveevhsince79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ktgiles View Post
    This is one of the most devastating, and quite honestly nauseating, things I've read in a long time. It's hard for me to believe that an 8 yr. old child could come up with, and then execute, this plan. I'm not saying I don't believe it happened, although I wouldn't be surprised if there were something "fishy" about this story. I just can't comprehend how an 8-yr. old could want to do something like this. Furthermore, is an 8-yr. old even capable of doing this, physically I mean? I guess maybe so...this is just really disturbing. I'll be curious to know more details about whether or not the child was being treated for any type of emotional disorders/depression. The normal 8 yr. old just doesn't think in these terms (death and what death really means---the finality of it--- are very abstract concepts to a young child). So sad and disturbing... but something seems very unsettling about this to me.
    Actually "7" years old KT. I can't say your line of thinking did not cross my mind as well. Then I read the part about the child being gifted so perhaps with an above average intelligence he was able to figure it out? But still, where would he get such as idea?

  9. #9
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    12.10.17 @ 04:56 PM
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    I had a friend in 2nd grade who hung himself by accident. He had tied a rope around him pretending to be Indiana Jones swinging from a tree, and somehow the rope ended up loosening and sliding up and you know the rest. Our whole town was in shock/mourning at the time. I still remember that story as do most people who were kids at the time in my hometown. So accidents can happen unfortunately.

    very sad
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  10. #10
    Good Enough vhrocker's Avatar
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    That is sad. Prayers out to the family.
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  11. #11
    Baluchitherium KT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loveevhsince79 View Post
    Actually "7" years old KT. I can't say your line of thinking did not cross my mind as well. Then I read the part about the child being gifted so perhaps with an above average intelligence he was able to figure it out? But still, where would he get such as idea?
    oops...my bad with the age. All I was remembering from the article was that he was in 2nd grade and I thought, "8-yrs. old".

    I'm thinking I'd feel better about this if it were an accident. I know that sounds horrible, but I realize accidents DO happen. What I just can't wrap my head around is that a young child could willingly and knowingly do this. I haven't been able to get this out of my head ever since I read it. It's making me miss my teaching days.
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  12. #12
    Good Enough Tropical Storm Tracey's Avatar
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    This is just unbelievable! Knowing several people who have done this to themselves (although they were teenagers) it is so hard to comprehend what may have been going through their minds to think about killing themselves. Especially one so young. All the ones I knew were very outgoing, bright students. No one could have imagined why they did it. I am so sorry for this poor family. That poor little boy...

  13. #13
    Eruption Dimoncutr's Avatar
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    Not that this is the parents fault at all. If this kid was gifted, I'm sure that the parents made him realize that anything negative on his record would have devastating effects on his future schooling. Some people groom there kids from the time they are born (sometimes before). If he was an intellect, I can assume he knew what he was doing. My son is smarter that the average kid. Being 9, he said he didn't know what it was, Thank god !! At 7, this kid was under pressure.

  14. #14
    Atomic Punk
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimoncutr View Post
    Not that this is the parents fault at all. If this kid was gifted, I'm sure that the parents made him realize that anything negative on his record would have devastating effects on his future schooling. Some people groom there kids from the time they are born (sometimes before). If he was an intellect, I can assume he knew what he was doing. My son is smarter that the average kid. Being 9, he said he didn't know what it was, Thank god !! At 7, this kid was under pressure.
    I have to agree.

    What kind of pressure was this kid under at home that suicide was an option over a bad grade?

    I grew up in the "Gifted" program in our school district and I hated it because the people running it didn't understand us. I high IQ, as witnessed by my awful spelling and grammar, does not automatically translate into good grades. Worse, I was thrown into college-level English in junior highschool and I was lost for two years. My teacher was insane. I got bad grades, I got hauled into the office to speak with counselors and even the school shrink.

    Needless too say it was just GRREEEAAATT for my self-estime.

    No wonder I never wanted to grow up.

    Anyway, of the 19 kids in the "Honors English" class from junior high, FIVE committed suicide. Two of those before their Sophomore year. I know it's not the same as a seven-year-old but it illustrates the pressure these kids felt.

    Very sad indeed.
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  15. #15
    Atomic Punk LLFHS's Avatar
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    I've never even heard of anything like this. A boy that age even following through.......it boggles the mind and shatters the heart.
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