Would You Say Something If You Read This or Just Grade It?

Many of you know my passion for youth mental health. Often, family and friends who lose a loved one to suicide say they did not see any signs. In fact, the majority (not all) who attempt or die by suicide do leave clues like hikers intentionally marking their path after wandering off a trail in the woods. So, I wonder, would you hear this story as a sign?

English Paper Submitted by a High School Junior

English Paper Submitted by a High School Junior

(Edited version of the paper above)


Alone she sits, cold and isolated, locked in her bathroom. She hopelessly gives up her childhood dreams and desires; life appears to be a meaningless ritual. Familiar faces tauntingly peek into the windows, but they are oblivious to her pain. Confusion races around in her mind like a rat searching frantically out of a maze. The tears continuously roll down her face and moisten her flushed cheeks and clothing, as winter raindrops drip through leaky roofs and soil family room carpet. The hollow beating of her aching heart becomes dull and inconsistent. Anger and pain burn, burn wildly beneath her sorrow but her temper is quickly blanketed by an overwhelming wave of worthlessness. A little girl inside her heart is screaming, screaming hysterically for love and rescue, but nobody hears her. Complete numbness overcomes her motionless body and casts dark clouds on her awareness. Lowered, lowered, dirt compresses a buried coffin. Held firmly in her right hand, grasped by her tingling fingers, rests the answer to her pain. She found the way out.

-English Paper by a High School Junior

I’m curious, if you had to grade this paper, would you simply grade it or would you say something?

With concern for our youth,


Dana V. AdamsComment