Student suicide reported at Shenandoah Middle School


Henry County lawmen are investigating the apparent suicide of a Shenandoah student.  The teenager took his life during school Wednesday morning.  

The 17-year-old male was found at Shenandoah Middle School in Middletown, located a few miles from the high school.  

It is a small community in mourning, and one that is looking for explanations. 
Administrators emptied the Shenandoah middle and high schools, sending children home at noon, to parents who will have to explain why a classmate took his life.
Tiny Middletown is the nearest community.  At the area's only grocery, parents were buying comfort food for their family, but were too emotional to talk about the tragedy.
"Something like that happening here is going to devastate everyone," said June Crevier, store manager.
Investigators say the 17-year-old student was missing from a Veterans Day assembly.  The principal and athletic director found him in a locker room.
"Anytime you have children involved it breaks you heart," said Henry County Sheriff Rich McCorkle.
The Henry County Sheriff rushed from home to meet with detectives looking for any explanation.

Depression and suicide prevention resources
"Any problems at home, any problems socially.  We look at all of it to see what could cause this to happen," said Sheriff McCorkle.
Surrounded by miles of farm land, the entire school district has only 1,400 students. It's described as a school family.
"It's a kick in the gut.  It's unbelievable," said Michael Cooper,  who works for the family-owned Middletown News.  The weekly paper is aware of at least ten suicides in the area in the last  few years.

Cooper's adult brother took his life two years ago.

"It is a loss of hope.  It is not seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.  Not seeing what you are living for, I guess," said Cooper.
Some say suicide among young people in Indiana has reached epidemic proportions. 

Information gathered by Mental Health America of Greater Indianapolis finds suicide as the second leading cause of death of 15-24-year-olds. 19 percent of young people consider suicide and 11 percent have attempted suicide. Numbers behind a personal  tragedy that parents, teachers and children in this tight knit community will have to live with.  
The Shenandoah school cafeteria is open Wednesday night for children, parents and teachers to meet with counselors. Counselors will be back at school Thursday morning when students arrive for class. 

Depression and suicide prevention resources