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Police step up presence at schools, tracks

Original post made on Aug 24, 2009

Rocked by the Friday night suicide of a 13-year-old girl, Palo Alto police plan "a large presence" at schools and at train crossings this week to reach out to the community's young people, Sgt. Dan Ryan, a police-department spokesman announced this morning.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, August 24, 2009, 10:17 AM

Comments (6)

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Posted by Guest
a resident of another community
on Aug 24, 2009 at 12:47 pm

No problem, we just need to pass more laws. We need to make train assisted suicide illegal. That will solve the problem. Our police can concentrate on those near the train tracks, people talking on their cell phones, and those not wearing their seatbelts. Yes, then all our problems will be solved.

Yes, a ban will work great just like our laws against drugs, underage drinking, underage smoking, underage sex,the DC gun ban, and previous laws against abortion, and prohibition.

Suicide is a symptom, not a cause. If we want to deal with it we need to concentrate on the cause, not ignore it. Silly bans just don't work and creating a police state is just stupid. What country do we want to live in the USA, or the USSR?

Sarcasm aside, I'm not saying to do nothing about suicide, just be honest and say that we have little interest in addressing the problem, or seriously address the cause. Don't do nothing to address the cause, do little to address the symptoms and pretend something is being done.

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Posted by menlores
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Aug 24, 2009 at 1:32 pm

Maybe we should start with the parents. Don't we ask too much of our young people? The best college/universities to attend, the highest grades in school, AP classes all that kind of "stuff". Let them be kids, teenagers for a while. A 13 year old should look forward to spending the next 70 years of life. Such a waste....

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Posted by Wake Up
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Aug 24, 2009 at 1:58 pm

I totally agree with menlores -- for heaven's sake, lighten up on these poor kids. They are not here on earth to give you something to brag about. We are driving them so hard we're creating a generation of stressed out, depressed, bulimic/anorexic, suicidal head cases. Encourage your kids to take an afternoon off every week from superachievement and go hang out with their friends at Foster's Freeze. So WHAT if they don't get 1200 on their SATs?? They don't need to be graduated from Stanford to be successful, HAPPY, well-adjusted people.

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Posted by Woodside mom
a resident of Woodside School
on Aug 24, 2009 at 4:09 pm

I agree with the comments/observations of menlors and WakeUp. Is it a coincidence that these teens come from the same school? Or the same hyperactive parent community where the pressure is on for everybody's kids to take AP classes, prepare for the SATs, do community service, be an excellent athlete, musician or artist and get perfect grades? No coincidence. These are preventable tragedies. It starts with the parents allowing their kids to have some time to hang out and day dream. It starts with parents stopping from outsourcing every aspect of parents to someone else. It starts with parents holding off of the materialistic consumption habits that drives all households to have 2 workers in the family. Schools like Stanford also have a role in this vicious cycle, in that they need to stop judging these kids on their numbers (gpa, test scores, AP scores). There was just an article in the WSJ about some universities adding yet another test score to the mix - a personality profile test. This will really put these poor kids over the edge. Universities and and hyperactive parents (baby boomers, you know who I'm talking about) need to re-evaluate what your doing.
Signed a Gen Xer high school parent who lets my kids hang out.

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Posted by papichi
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 24, 2009 at 5:12 pm

Our kids went to a private college prep school and there was incredible pressure on these kids to over achieve. Not only from many of the parents that demanded the max, but also the teachers were under incredible pressure to maintain a super high standard of teaching as not to affect the school's acreditation.
Even tho' this ours a Christian school with a spiritual aspect to the student life, there were still students that resorted to alcohol, drugs, etc as a relief from the pressure.
It's important to be able to BE a KID and have your self-esteem reinforced by parents and teachers! That self esteem isn't just based on grades and job performance, but so much more ...creativity, sports ability, music, arts, and much more!
I think that we as parents need to always always always be supportive of our children and making sure that they know our love for them is genuine and will always be there for them. Even if we aren't happy with their grades... we need to still love them, encourage them, find the positive, and never ever make fun of them in sarcasm about their looks, features, size, inability to match our standards(how many of us grownups still deal with feelings that someone imposed on us when we were in school?). Remember that it takes about 18 positive, encouraging comments to come close to overcoming 1 sacastic slight.
And we as neighbors, friends, grandparents, churches, clubs, whatever ...WE need to be paying attention to any signs signals, concerns and truly and honestly be listeners and responders to our teens and children.
A wise man once said, Bring up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it. One

Don't blame, let's encourage each other and our children. Take the time! They're priceless and they are worth every minute! Be active on this and reach out when ever the opportunity arises. We can make a difference and they won't forget what you did for them.

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Posted by To Papichi
a resident of another community
on Aug 24, 2009 at 7:17 pm

No offense - I went to parochial school for many years - please know the partying is just as high - no pun intended - as at public schools. Sometimes it seemed like the best way to cope & blow off steam.

But all the suicides - ever since I was in high school locally, suicide "belonged" to Palo Alto. It's its own bubble - bigger than Atherton w/much more commerce & always so smugly self-aware and striving. Very sad.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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