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Warren Central


Wednesday, November 26, 2008 • Volume 87 • Issue 4

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Get the inside scoop on all of the mudslinging and can hoarding behind the “Can-paign Against Hunger.”

Don’t get left in the dark about Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome and Warren’s program that is doing everything possible to make life easier for students who have them.

Page 6 Find out some quick and easy ways to fatten your wallet for the holiday season.

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“ up Picking the p

ie c

Suicide is a “Silent Epidemic” that has struck Warren with a vengeance, and as students struggle to cope with aftermath of lost friends, classmates and mentors, school officials do their best to guide students through crisis at hand

The YRBS is a survey taken of 9th through 12th graders in various public and private schools National Average

Experienced the feeling of hopelessness and sadness for a constant period of two weeks or greater during the past 12 months



Seriously considered suicide in the past 12 months



Gone as far as to construct a plan to commit suicide



Attempted suicide in the past twelve months



We are going through this horrible tragedy of these untimely deaths of these two young individuals and we need to make sure we come together and be here for one another. If you see someone struggling, make sure to seek help. We’re all here going through this together. - Principal Rich Shepler

ast Thursday, while students were still at Irwin before the first teacher braved a guess. “An excess of 5,000 young people,” Irwin anhome enjoying their first late start of the year, teachers, administrators, and other faculty swered after a handful of off-the-mark estimations. members were gathered in the Performing She clarified that this only reflected the number of Arts Center for a mandatory staff development reported suicides, and that the total would be much training seminar. Staff development programs are higher if it included suicides that were mislabeled standard for Warren, but considering the traumatic as accidents, which largely due to the denial of the events of the last few weeks, this particular session family members left behind. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for brought more tension and closer scrutiny teens in the state of Indiana, and in the 2007 Youth than most others. After a call to order from Phyllis Hazlewood, Risk Behavior Survey (see table), conducted by the Joni Irwin from the Jason Foundation, who has Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the been working in coordination with school councilors impact of this disease on Hoosiers when compared and local therapists the last two weeks, introduced to the national average becomes that much more herself and her purpose for coming to speak with apparent. But Irwin maintains that suicide should not Warren’s staff. “We have to get all of our teachers, parents and be normalized, and teachers and parents should students educated,” Irwin said after explaining that reach out to any teen exhibiting a number of out of she was a community liaison from the Jason Foun- character behaviors including: abrupt changes in atdation, a national organization devoted to building tendance, dwindling academic performance, sudden awareness of youth suicide and educating staffs such failure to complete assignments, lack of interest and withdrawal, sudden changes in appearance, changed as ours on detection and outreach. In the space of just a couple of weeks, Warren relationships with classmates, increased irritability and or aggressiveness, preoccupation with death has suffered and suicide, or despairing attitude. the devastatThe staff development seminar is ing loss of If we can only educate them just one of the many steps that the school two students, on this, then maybe we can has taken to help students and teachers 16-year-old Anprevent it from getting to this cope in the aftermath of the three deaths. tonio Rivera point. Warren’s 11 counselors and two schooland 17-year- Joni Irwin based therapists from Community North old Mariah Hospital have been assisted by local pastors Broomfield, to and a number of counselors and therapists suicide. The from Community North, Gallahue, Valle death of PAC Director Matt Oskay is also being called an apparent Vista, private practice, Jason Foundation and the Indiana Crisis Assistance Response Team (ICART). suicide by the current investigation. These resources were made available to any The weight of these deaths has been lying heavily on the minds and hearts of students and teachers, but student in need of counseling or just wanting to talk. Irwin offers a beacon of light in these dark times. On December 15, there will be a parent seminar “There is hope out there,” Irwin said, “a lot of hope held at Warren which will be open to anyone in the out there.” She stressed the importance of coming together community wanting to know more about suicide, as a school, and the necessity of teachers being proac- learn how to recognize warning signs, understand tive in identifying students who may be struggling the national health problem of suicide and learn what resources are available for parents. with the recent tragedies. Principal Rich Shepler, who has personally “If we only turn to somebody for help, we’ll get through this,” Irwin said, and from the set of been meeting with students who are trying to cope her shoulders and the decisiveness of her voice, you with Warren’s recent losses, said, “We are working to make this from a negative to a positive thing.” knew she meant it. Shepler hopes that from these deaths we are She calls suicide the “silent epidemic” because people don’t want to talk about it. This point was able to grow as a school and as a community and proven a few moments later when she asked for the come together so that we do not have to face such audience to call out some estimations of how many tragedy again. teens are lost to suicide each year; it took quite a bit of nervous shifting from the staff and prodding from


Centers For Disease Control: 2007 Youth Risk Behavior Survey

Indiana Average

Join 007 in his latest mission to rid the world of assorted evil villains hiding in super secret desert getaway.



Survey Question

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The United States loses approximately 100+ young people each week to suicide. Boys complete suicide over 3 times more than girls.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for college age youth.

Over 19,000 suicide attempts a week occur nationally.

One out of every 14 students have attempted suicide in the last 12 months.

Girls attempt suicide over 3 times more than boys.

4 out of 5 suicide attempts give clear warning signs.


27.5% 11.3% 11.7% 7.2% “ Survey Question Indiana Average National Average Suicide is a “Silent Epidemic” that has struck Warren with a venge...