Last Friday was the last day of school in this area. I had no scheduled classes that day. Good, thing, too! Because every single train line in my area was delayed due to an Injury Accident. Even the subway! It took an extra half hour to get to work but for me it was just an inconvenience. For the people who were involved in those Injury Accidents it was a whole different story. The sad truth is that while I’ve always thought of spring break as a good thing, it can also be a dangerous time for stressed out, mentally ill, bullied, and abused kids.
It’s not surprising that this grim time clusters around the school year. It came out just last month that a boy committed suicide after a clerical error left him hung out to dry on high school entrance. School can make or break you. But don’t take my word for it. This is a statistically proven phenomenon.
A recent study published by Japan’s Cabinet Office examined the country’s more than 18,000 child suicides from 1972–2013 and found that 131 of those suicides occurred on September 1 — 32 more suicides than the next most-frequent date of death. Mapping for frequency, the study found distinctly larger numbers of suicides at the end of August and beginning of September, as well as during the middle of April. The former coincides with schools reopening after summer vacation; the latter, as schools reopen after spring break.
As the new school year opens next month, keep in mind that a little compassion can go a long way.