Just Listen

This is for those millions of untold stories.

This is for my school district.

This is for Diego.

They say that it takes one small step to move a mountain and this is mine. All I ask, to whoever is reading this, is to just listen. This is not something that is easy to write, but it is something that needs to be said. 

I’m angry and quite frankly disappointed at my school district; I think a lot of people are. The story of Diego is not rare, but it is not common. His death was unexpected and unfair. Yet, the cause was something we could have prevented. I hear the district saying that they “hear our concerns” and they’re trying to “work with the community”, but is it our concerns your hearing or the crumbling of your so polished image? 

I would just like to tell my school that while they may have seen Tuesday’s Safety Awareness Day presentations as “helpful” and “informing” many kids saw them as boring and rushed. When you’re talking about issues like these, especially those of suicide and bullying, you have to take these topics with

delicacy and care. And I get it, you’re “trying your best” but is it really your best or is it what’s required? Now you’re probably sitting there questioning if I have any “better ideas” and the answer is yes, I do. Instead of asking Google for ideas on how teens can prevent suicide or looking up cheesy bullying videos that are uninteresting, maybe try asking us what we think. At the end of the day, you want what’s best for the students right? How will you know that if you’ve never listened to a student talk about their concerns and what they think needs to be fixed.

And I feel as though that’s the disconnect with adults and teens; you never want to hear what we have to say about our lives. We are the ones having to endure all the hardships that come with being us and sometimes we just want you to listen. We should have scheduled open discussions in the lecture hall about teen issues. Our counselors should show more investment in the well being of students and their mental health than perfecting their schedules every five seconds. All we want is for you to listen to us and have an open mind.

Now for my school district…you need to listen too. When you have the ability to prevent something from escalating yet you do nothing, of course,. it is going to anger a handful of people. This isn’t the first time someone’s story was turned away. And so I ask you this: how many more casualties is it going to take for you to realize that there is a problem with the way you’re handling things?

I do not expect change overnight, but I do hope to see some improvements for generations to come. This is a call to action and I hope you do not let this story collect dust like many others. This is your sign, don’t avoid it. 

We’re begging you.