A cohesive community in northwest Michigan is shaken by a string of student suicides, according to reports.
The Kingsley village, which houses 1,600 people, searches for answers after the death of three students for eight months, says Travel City.
The Kingsley School District was first rocked in June by the suicide of 16-year-old DeAnte Blaine. Four months later, the death of 14-year-old Cayden Stone once again sent the city into a state of sorrow.
Now hundreds have gathered together to complain about 14-year-old Sheila Poboda, who takes her own life earlier this month, the newspaper said.
"Every student's death has a great impact on the school, and the death of every child has a strong impact on the whole community," said Keith Smith to Orel Record. "When we first got out of school, it certainly shook us. Before we went back to school, we had the second one and it really took us back to the heels. Then we had this one. Everyone is incredible in their own right. "
Smith said Shaelynn's death on February 3 was a breakthrough in what he described as "Norman Rockwell, a common American small town."
"I sat down and wept for an hour," he told the Washington Post. "I just can not take more than that … just overcome emotions."
School neighborhood joined forces with the American Suicide Prevention Foundation to include more training in the curriculum. Other efforts include parenting events to raise awareness.
"If there is a parent who thinks they are free of it, they are naive and perhaps a little ignorant – because tomorrow they may be their child," said Cayden's father, Bill Stone. "My child was one of the most incredible candidates you could think of, but here I am.
The problem that Kingsley struggles reflects the national trend. The rate of suicide dramatically increased in children aged 10 to 17 years, increasing by 70% between 2006 and 20016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"We just have to make sure we have systems in all schools, not just Kingsley," school psychologist Marv Normande told an eagle record.