This is not my story to tell, but this story must be told NOW:
This week our little community here in Central Queensland was rocked to its core with the absolute senseless death of a local teenager. Now I am retelling this story as I know it, not to glorify it, but to make sure that this never happens again.
As far as I know, and I’m only relying on what is getting around the schools and the community, the young lad was challenged somehow or by someone to do a certain amount of chin ups with a noose tied around his neck and then when he completed these he was to simply cut the noose. Why? Why would this be seen as a challenge? Anyway, I’m not going to go into the tragic details of it, but tragically this young lad lost his life to this challenge. He was filming this event on his device ready to show the world.
I did not know the young man, but he did attend the same high school as my eldest son. The school was thrown into responding to this news and did so in a respectful, sensitive manner. Counsellors were immediately put on site and continue to be available for the students to access in the weeks to come. Students were told of the news through their home room teacher, rather than a whole school announcement and both staff and students are allowing the grief, hurt and anger to play out in constructive ways.
Who takes the blame for this one? Social media? Peers? The community? I don’t know.
As I said at the beginning of this article I did not know the young lad or his family yet I too as a member of this community am feeling shocked and distraught at this event. Every parent I have spoken to since this tragedy has said that they have spoken to their children about this event and the impact of social media.
Please have a conversation with your children about the stupidity of some of these ‘challenges’.