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Saturday, March 1, 2014

Woodson community mourns two students



The Woodson High School community is reeling after the death of two students this week.

Jack Chen, a 10th-grader, was struck by a VRE train at about 5:30 a.m. on Feb. 26. On Feb. 28, it was revealed that Majid Albaiz, a junior, had died. It is generally believed that both students committed suicide. There were about five student suicides in the past four years, according to a Woodson graduate.

In an email to Woodson families Feb. 28, Principal Jeff Yost states: “I am saddened to report to you the unexpected death today of one of our 11th-grade students. Out of respect for the family’s wishes, Woodson High School will not be providing any additional details related to this incident. Our thoughts and support are with the student’s family and friends during this difficult time. We have a crisis team in place and support services for students, staff, and families are available.” 

Yost plans to hold a community meeting March 5 at 7 p.m. in the school auditorium “to give parents an opportunity to learn more about what is being done at the school to support their children during this time of grief, to provide information and resources for parents to use as they help their child, and to provide information about community efforts to build a network of support for our young people.”

“As a community, we need to pull together to identify risk factors and assist any child who may be in need of academic, social or emotional support,” Yost states. “Social media is the place where students ‘congregate’ to share their thoughts about a tragedy. Unfortunately, it is also a place where rumor, innuendo, and speculation often prevail. Please make every effort to be aware of your child’s activities on social media and encourage them to let adults know when they read something that concerns them.”

For those struggling to come to grips with the deaths of the Woodson students, here are some resources:
  • Tips from NASP about planning memorials and other activities at schools following traumatic events.

14 comments:

  1. how terribly sad for their families . my thoughts and prayers are with them .

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  2. Seven suicides in the last four years or so?? What is going on at that school???

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  3. RIP Jack and Majid

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  4. @Camo Princess, it is highly competitive. And if you aren't the best, and you feel like you can't cut it, it can be quite depressing.

    Pile that onto how hard HS can be for a lot of people.

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  5. With so many suicides, I'd say that Woodson needs an investigation and a new Principal.

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  6. @Camo Princess @Anonymous
    the high school is very competitive but that's not the only factor that is put into these two teenagers death. The school and no one can be blamed. Principal Yost is not the problem and people need to stop using him as a scape goat for what is going on. What is needed is wide support and awareness of mental health.

    As a Woodson Alumni, i give my hearts out to the family and friends.

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  7. Agree with the last post. It is not one person's "fault" or, for that matter, anyone's fault. I am sure the events that led to these horrible deaths were complex and may have involved serious mental health issues. Please don't blame but help, be supportive and be open to understanding other's struggles.

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  8. I don't think it's right nor fair to the victims, their families and their friends to pass off the incidents as suicide based on mere heresy and the speculations of " former students "!!!!

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  9. That is 5 deaths since August 2012 at that school. this is just more than a coincidence

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  10. Something is seriously not right at that school. This high rate of suicide isolated to one school can't be a coincidence.

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  11. Stress and inability to cope with failure. Smart kids who can't stand the thought of less than the successful laid out by them or their parents.

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  12. I know that this may seem like a random question, but have any other health problems (besides mental health problems) been increasing in frequency at this school?

    From: W.T. Woodson alumnus who can’t recall a single suicide during her four years of attending W.T. Woodson back in the ‘90s.

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  13. pretty terrible!

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