September 18, 2012
In the aftermath of an event that shook Albemarle County, school leaders are addressing suicide in light of the Stony Point murders.
Albemarle County High School's Parent-Teacher-Student Organization hosted a suicide prevention meeting Tuesday night.
"I think sometimes people feel a little bit afraid, or sometimes there's shame or a stigma when it comes to this topic, and this is really about breaking down those barriers, breaking down those walls," said Mary Williams, manager of the high school's Student Assistance Program
Albemarle County Police say last month, 19-year-old Noah Romando shot and killed his mother, brother and sister, a former Albemarle High School student, before killing himself.
"It's led to a lot of conversations with our parents, our students, our teachers, our community members asking, 'How can something like this happen? What are the signs I should be looking for?" AHS principal Jay Thomas said.
Based on a recent survey among high school students in Charlottesville and Albemarle, 11 percent -- amounting to a couple hundred students -- say they've thought about suicide.
"That's a pretty big number. Obviously, one is too many. We just really want to be able to address that," said Williams.
School faculty members say they want to intervene before tragedy happens again.
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