According to an email sent out by the Richland School District to parents, a Richland High School freshman apparently committed suicide over the weekend.

The email said the student died Saturday morning. No other information was released. The email said counseling would begin at Richland High School at 10:30 AM Monday.

We were told by a parent they received the email at 9:28 AM Monday morning, Dec. 14. We have received two submissions of the actual email from two different sources verifying the story.

We did have a chance to speak to Principal Praino on the phone and he confirmed this tragic situation, as did Communications Director Ty Beaver.

The email also said another option for students would be to log into Zoom and meeting with a District counselor in what the District called a breakout room. A variety of other assistance resources were also offered for students and their families. It also contained information for parents to help them identify warning signs of suicide or 'unusual' behavior in their students-children.

The email also contained a number of contact information sources for students and families-resources. No other details have been released at this time. This is the second suicide by a Richland High School student in the last 8 months, Christian Robbins killed himself on April 27th of this year. Below is part of the email text. The email was sent out by Principal Praino to families in District.

RSD email about student suicide (RSD-Facebook)

The entire text of the email is reprinted below, from the actual email sent out.

Parents,

It is with a heavy heart that I share this news with you.  Richland High School had a student die by suicide on Saturday morning.  The student was a freshman at Richland High School.  Richland High School will have counselors on site in the library to assist grieving students.  Counseling will begin at 10:30am.  Students must fill out an attestation form and have their temperature under 100.4. Please see the attached safety guidelines and QR code.

Other options for grieving students are logging into a zoom and meeting with one of our district counselors in a breakout room. Finally, students can schedule a home visit with a team of counselors meeting.  Please call our main office at 967-6535 to schedule this event.

My thoughts are with each of you during this difficult time. All of us will react in different ways to this news, so I have included information to help you recognize possible reactions you may observe in your child. Please observe your child closely over the next several days and weeks to watch for signs of distress, which may indicate a need for additional support and guidance. Please feel free to contact the school if you have any concerns or questions regarding your child, or the steps being taken by the school to address this loss.

Resources For Parents: http://www.sptsusa.org/parents/talking-to-your-kid-about-suicide/?fbclid=IwAR3851ABcDvA-BmDzBoSNxR1jjsIWtVu83-Deh7CLZnkbn1xCEAJ9XDaNDo

Suicide Warning Signs

These signs may mean someone is at risk for suicide. Risk is greater if behavior is new or has recently increased in frequency or intensity, and if it seems related to a painful event, loss or change.

- Talking about wanting to die or kill oneself

- Looking for ways to kill oneself, such as searching online or buying a gun

- Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live

- Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain

- Talking about being a burden to others

- Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs

- Acting anxious or agitated, or behaving recklessly

- Sleeping too little or too much

- Withdrawing or feeling isolated

- Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge

- Displaying extreme mood swings

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

(800) 273-8255

Crisis Text Line

Text HOME to 741741 to connect with a Crisis Counselor.

Children who are already vulnerable may be at greater risk due to exposure to the suicide of a peer. If you or your child needs help right away, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), call 911, or take your child to the Benton Franklin Crisis Response Center located at 500 N. Morain St. Suite 1250 in Kennewick.  Their phone number is (509) 783-0500 and they are open 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.  

Sincerely,

Tim Praino

Principal Richland High School