High School Principals Letter to Parents: Were Pressuring Our Kids to Death

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Teen suicide has actually been growing in the last few years and unfortunately, TWEEN suicide (kids ages 10-14) has actually doubled considering that 2009. For much of this, social networks has actually been blamed: particularly, because rates have actually increased so dramatically (doubling in the 10-14 age) because the development of the smart device. Cyberbullying and the pressure to have a picture-perfect life for social networks has actually led numerous youths to have psychological health issue that result in teen suicide. After a high school sophomore from Corona Del Mar High School in California took his life, a principal from a surrounding high school, Newport Harbor High, felt the requirement to speak out to the moms and dads of his trainees, in a desperate plea to conserve lives.

In the Coronal Del Mar teenager suicide, Newport Harbor primary Dr. Sean Boulton states in a Facebook post, social networks and cyberbullying weren’ t the primary problems. The departed kid, he states, left suicide notes “ that made reference of the pressures of school and maturing in Newport-Mesa.”



The Facebook post , which Dr. Boulton composed as a letter to moms and dads, states generally that nowadays, in many cases, we are pressing our kids to death. I discover that his insight is surprising yet rings totally real, and I believe ALL moms and dads require to bear in mind. He states:

… there stays legitimate, genuine issue for this awful occurrence, particularly from notes that the departed trainee left, notes that made reference of the pressures of school and maturing in Newport-Mesa. A lot to contemplate, and lots of discussions and modifications ahead however how did we get here?

Our instructors and District have actually just produced and kept a system that our community/country has actually required from us over the previous 20 years considering that college admissions mania entered into active drive, since employment training programs were taken apart , and given that making “ A ’ s ” in AP classes ended up being thestandard.

Our instructors feel the pressure, therapy and administration feel the pressure, and now parents/students are truly feeling the pressures.

When we matured no one asked us what our GPA was, and it was “ cool ” to deal with the roofing system of a home. This competitive culture has actually substantially affected our young people. We constantly go over test ratings, National Merit Scholarships, checking out ratings, AP scholars, contrasts to other school Districts and this is when we begin losing our cumulative souls– and our kids.

I’ ll disrupt Boulton’ s remarks soyou wear ’ t miss this line: “ This is when we begin losing our cumulative souls– and our kids.”


When I reflect to my own high school days in the 1990s, my moms and dads simply constantly asked me to do my finest. I was a high achiever however not a genius, I got good test ratings and went to college and got an interactions degree. For my hubby, who is extremely smart however was a somewhat above-average trainee with not great however great test ratings, the story was various. He WANTED to go to school to deal with automobiles; he had actually thoroughly investigated his college of option and had it selected for several years. His papa, an extremely clever, accomplished Air Force engineer, desired his only kid to get a 4-year degree. Off my future spouse went — and invested an unpleasant very first year at a four-year college up until he was lastly able to persuade his moms and dads that it wasn’ t for him. He lost 18 months of his life and his moms and dads ’ cash on something he was PRESSURED into, and not developed for. Which leads me to Boulton’ s next remarks. He continues:


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We typically protect our trainees from failure. We believe that making a “ C ” grade in a class is a completion of the world, and we put on ’ t permit our trainees to promote on their own. We have actually likewise decreased the value of a military profession, a pipes or welding task, and we are a little ashamed if our kids want to go to occupation training schools rather of a significant university.

BINGO — I concur with Boutlon here, we HAVE to want to let our kids stop working, and to let go of what OUR PARENTAL EGOS desire them to attain in life. Spoiler alert: my spouse ultimately went to his dream school, got excellent grades, finished in simply over a year, and has actually been really effectively supporting himself and our household as an automobile specialist for 19 years IN THE SAME JOB, where he was just recently promoted to go shopping supervisor. And I am absolutely nothing however BURSTING WITH PRIDE over it. (As are his moms and dads.) Must our boys wish to go the exact same path, I’d feel the very same, as Boulton states we should. His declaration continues:

We state hooray for those trainees who get in the militaries, who wish to deal with their hands, who wear’ t wish to be weighed down with the concern of being best in high school, and who make a “ C ” in a difficult class and take pride in themselves.

ALL of us as a neighborhood need to get to this point if we wish to prevent our trainees feeling shamed, separated, or useless.

We had a waiting list this year for cooking at NHHS and building innovation at Estancia– this is an informing figure. We regularly have actually trainees lost in our administrative/ therapy workplaces, and in class whom we inform, “ College is not for everybody, however take a look at what you can do. ” We welcome military employers to our schools so they can deal with trainees on valued and substantial professions in the militaries. Please understand there is a lot behind the scenes we do to diffuse this environment, however we can refrain from doing it alone any longer.

A really user-friendly moms and dad provided an example just recently that struck house: “ Our kids are not teacups; they are suggested to be bumped around from time to time.

It is throughout these rough times that we can praise a “ C ”, praise a trainee going to the junior or military college, correctly support failure with self-questioning not blame, take an 89.5 [percent] as a B+ in stride, or praise a trainee in among our CTE paths. My British dad would constantly quip, “ it is the amount of our experiences that must constantly surpass the amount of our savings account.

We need to reach the point where, if our children and kids put on’ t live a best young person experience, it is not completion of the world … it is merely a chance to raise the sails and head in another direction.I seem like a
damaged record. If this upsets anybody I am sorry.

We require to begin now.

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Listen, papas and mamas: I regularly inform my kids that I would rather them have an excellent CHARACTER than excellent GRADES. I even needed to state this in an age-appropriate method just recently to my [7] -year-old who was so upset after not winning the spelling bee at school that he might not inform his schoolmate who won “ excellent task. ”( Yes, I get it, he ’ s 7, and this was a very first lesson for him. I did take the chance to inform him, “ I understand you ’ re dissatisfied, however I desire you to be an excellent FRIEND more than I desire you to be an excellent SPELLER. ” The next day at school he had the ability to inform his buddy “ excellent task, ” and you understand what? I believe he will keep in mind that lesson.)

So let’ s devote, moms and dads, to reducing teen suicide by reducing the PRESSURE we placed on our kids to PERFORM. Let’ s stop informing 15-year-olds that their upcoming AP mathematics test is going to have a life-long effect on their profession and capability to offer their households. Let’ s let them FAIL (you can checked out my own EPIC high school failure here ) and assist them CHANGE COURSE when required. As Dr. Boulton stated above, “ We need to reach the point where, if our children and kids put on’ t live a best young person experience, it is not completion of the world … it is just a chance to raise the sails and head in another instructions.”

And he’ s. We require to begin NOW.

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