Teacher Writes Personalized, Inspiring Notes to Her 130 Students After One Attempts Suicide
It’s a tough situation when a student you’ve had for years attempts suicide. This is the situation Brittni Darras found herself in a couple of months ago.
Darras, a teacher at Rampart High School in Colorado Springs, revealed in a Facebook post that she cried for the first time during a parent-teacher conference when the mother of a student she’d had for two years explained why her daughter had been absent for so long.
The student had “not only planned to commit suicide, but was in the act of doing so when the police got a Safe 2 Tell report, broke in, and stopped her,” Darras wrote in the post.
Knowing she had to do something for her student, Darras decided to write her a letter, which was delivered to the student in the hospital.
“My student got the letter,” Darras wrote, “her mom said that her daughter cried, turned to her mom and said, ‘How could somebody say such nice things about me? I didn’t think anybody would miss me if I was gone.'”
“It made me realize that I was way too close to losing another student to suicide,” she continued.
So, Darras decided to spend the next two months writing personalized notes to all of her 130 students “telling each one what is special and unique about them.”
Darras explained that she thinks a contributing factor to teenage suicide rates is the pressure put on them to do well in school and be successful.
“We need to remember that each human being is unique, and that is what makes them special,” she wrote.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the second leading cause of death for adolescents between the ages of 15 and 19.
Darras says it’s high time we start to embrace students’ individuality.
“Instead of trying to change it, we need to embrace it, because together, we can make a difference, and we can save lives!”
Bree Wuthier, one of Darras’ students who received a letter, told NBC affiliate KOAA she was surprised by how detailed the letter was.
“Usually when people write letters, it’s like one or two sentences, like either ‘Happy Birthday,’ or ‘Merry Christmas,’ or ‘I hope you’re doing fine.'”
“It was just incredible,” she continued. “She has such an eye, like to see things and to actually listen to her students.”