Principal: Kettering student’s attempted suicide ‘an awful situation’

Fairmont High School
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Fairmont High School

News of a student’s attempted suicide on Saturday in the Kettering Fairmont High School community has shaken “the whole community … and school,” according to Principal Tyler Alexander.

Counselors, school administrators and other adults were made available to students on Sunday afternoon at Kettering Fairmont High School. The incident, which happened on Saturday, prompted school officials to postpone the final varsity boys basketball game that was scheduled against Wayne on Saturday night.

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Details of the incident have not been released. Kettering police said Sunday that there is not an active investigation into the incident and deferred questions to the school district.

Alexander said “it’s just an awful situation.”

“We’ll focus now on offering support for our students and parents,” Alexander said. “Our crisis team has been alerted and we’re going to go through our protocols and make sure we have support available for our students and teachers.”

Saturday’s game versus Wayne was rescheduled to Monday and is to be played at Centerville High School.

Before Saturday’s game was postponed, some from the Kettering Fairmont community took to social media to encourage people to wear yellow to the game in honor of suicide awareness.

The student who reportedly harmed himself, a male in the 11th grade, was on the Kettering Fairmont basketball team last year, but this year he had decided to sit out the basketball season and focus on playing baseball, according to Kettering Fairmont Basketball Coach Blair Albright.

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Albright said several basketball players had close relationships with the student and news of the incident was shocking.

“It definitely hit close to home with our guys,” Albright said. “There’s just no sense to it. I’m sure he was going through something no one could understand. This isn’t a kid who you would have expected to do this.”

Albright said suicides can be difficult to reconcile with emotionally when “questions of why are never fully answered.”

“I spoke to our kids. When you’re 16, 17 and 18, you think this is all there is and it can’t get better. There’s just so much life ahead of you and you don’t know what’s going to be around the next corner,” Albright said.

People in need can call a suicide hotline number at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255) to reach a trained counselor.

Warning signs of suicide:

Talking about wanting to die

Looking for a way to kill oneself

Talking about feeling hopeless or having no purpose

Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain

Talking about being a burden to others

Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs

Acting anxious, agitated or recklessly

Sleeping too little or too much

Withdrawing or feeling isolated

Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge

Displaying extreme mood swings

The more of these signs a person shows, the greater the risk. Warning signs are associated with suicide but may not be what causes a suicide.

What to do:

If someone you know exhibits warning signs of suicide:

Do not leave the person alone

Remove any firearms, alcohol, drugs or sharp objects that could be used in a suicide attempt

Call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255)

Take the person to an emergency room or seek help from a medical or mental health professional.