Warning signs of suicide attempt all over student's social media - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Warning signs of suicide attempt all over student's social media

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

Students at North Shore High are shocked and surprised a 17-year-old tried to take his own life.

The students who did not know their classmate was going to try and take his own life would be in a small minority.

We are not identifying the baseball player, but we will tell you he tweeted about committing suicide only hours before the attempt.  His followers, 350 of them, had a chance to see posts like:

"Today is the day."

"Bye Guys."

"In this case, the social media actually helped the situation," self-esteem and literacy advocate Melissa Williams said.

The victim's tweets prompted one student to call school officials.

Despite their intervention, the victim was still able to get a gun in the backseat of a Harris County Precinct 3 patrol car and shoot himself.

"There are parents who have gone behind the scenes and made fake profiles," Williams said.

She said if parents at home are downright nosy about what's going on in their child's life, there's a chance scenes like this could be prevented at school.  The self-esteem expert said privacy for children and teens in this age of social media should have its limits.

"The thing about social media that the kids aren't considering is they're putting their life out there," she said.  "This is public information so if they're going to be that public and they're going to be that open, then I think parents have a right to see what their children are saying online too."

The victim may have also hinted why he tried to take his own life on Twitter.

"You say you can't live like this I'll make it easy for you after today," he tweeted to another student.

Houston psychologist Dr. Ed Reitman emphasized the importance of parental involvement.  Reitman said parents have to be willing to pay attention and talk with their child.  He has no reservations about digging into your child's life to keep them safe.

"We as parents can be responsible," he said.  "We have to deal with our kids out of care, with concern without fear of rejection and we have to be able to say I will do whatever it is I have to do guard you and protect you, so I have no qualm about every parent putting a GPS on their kid's phone."

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