Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Lessons Learned from Students this Week

This past Sunday our school suffered a tragedy when one of our students, David Bacon, committed suicide.  It has been a week of watching students and staff members hold each other close, hold each other up, and pull together to work their way through the many feelings a loss like this brings.

This week I learned how being together may not be able to prevent tragedies, but it definitely helps us to get through them.  I also learned that our students and staff are amazing, ok I already knew this, but I saw it in many different ways this week.  I was moved to tears as I walked the halls and saw students and staff picking each other up, supporting each other, and holding each other close as they tried to find a way through a terrible week.  One of the most impactful displays was this amazing letter from one of our students to our football coach:

Hey Mr. B... 
I know you're overwhelmed and going through a very difficult time. We all are. I don't know if David went out with a reason, or if things have been leading up to this. Nobody knows what goes through someone's head and nobody will truly understand how it feels until they've been there too. I truly am amazed how many other communities have come together to support us. They've put aside the fact that we're top in the state and kicking butt, were undefeated this year, and maybe just they're "enemies". Who knows. But they put everything aside to support our team and community and that's what restores my faith in our generation. Seeing the pain in the eyes of my family that's on the team, and people on the team that I know for a fact are very strong guys that I thought I'd never see cry absolutely tore my heart in a million pieces. Seeing the pain in every single person at PHS including myself kills me. I'm also amazed at how our school has come together and everyone is supporting everyone. I've been there. I've been where David was two nights ago. I know how it feels because I'm still fighting it. But to see our school and community come together like it has totally changed my outlook on Plymouth. I want you to know that everyone is here to support you and the team including his family. Nothing will ever be the same. Yesterday it literally felt like a huge piece was missing from our school and it truly was. I hated seeing everyone so hurt yesterday. I want you to know that no matter how long it takes you to be your happy, energetic, enthusiastic, and normal self again, we will all be waiting for the day to see you smile and hear your laugh again. It's definitely going to be a while before we can all smile and be happy again, but eventually life will keep going, and this will only make us more aware and stronger as a school and a community. I've learned to love PHS, and this topped it off. PHS has totally proved how much they care about each and every one of us. I can't wait to hear about the win this Friday because those boys are gonna win it for David. Each and every one of those boys out there have a heart like fire and I know first hand they will kick butt and win for David. They'll go far this season for David. They won't want other teams to go easy on them because they are strong and David wouldn't want them to be looked down upon. You treat those boys like you treat your kids. You're a family and family sticks together in times like this. I have faith in the team to be strong on Friday and I know right now in practice it's probably emotional and beyond difficult to stay strong without David ever coming back, but you'll all make it through. Rockies always do. Just remember we're all waiting on the day we get to see you smile again after this terrible tragedy. Good luck on Friday. It'll be tough, but the team will come out stronger than before. I've been sending prayers out to David's family, and I consider the whole team his family as well. We're all here for you and you're not alone. 

These simple words from a student to her teacher, trying to find a way to get him to smile again, while knowing it will take a while.  Her eloquent words have done a much better job of summing up what I saw and learned this week, than I could ever hope this post would do.

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