Last week we said we hoped to not have to write any more about API teen suicides and deaths. But unfortunately, we do need to write about it, and we need to acknowledge this has become an issue. Within the last few weeks, there have been more recent teen deaths, and they hit close to home—in Everett and Tacoma.
It is always difficult to discuss tragedy. So perhaps the best way to discuss is to start off with what we know at this point.
And so here are the depressing bullet points:
— Christopher (AnhKhoi) Nguyen, passed away on April 27, at his childhood home in Everett, Washington.
He was 18. He was a senior at Cascade High School and a member of the National Honors Society, due to graduate in the spring. According to his family, he also attended early start college courses at Everett Community College and had been recently accepted to the University of Washington as a sophomore in the pre-engineering program.
—Izabel Laxamana, 13-year-old, left notes to her family members before jumping from an interstate bridge last Friday, police said. The youngster died the following day.
Her death triggered sadness and anger, especially after a video of her father “shaming” her and cutting her hair found its way online. It was put online by a third party and later removed. Many online commentators claimed the girl’s father should he held responsible for her death.
Police who have been probing the girl’s death said while the girl’s father had indeed cut her hair and recorded the incident, there was no evidence that he had committed a crime.
They said it appeared there were a number of factors that were affecting the youngster and that the hair-cutting and video did not “have much to do with her decision to take her own life”.
Why is this happening and what is the threshold for these teens? Is there too much pressure based on expectations by family, peers, or perhaps the individual on him or herself? Why is there no realization what the future can offer?
It is tragic to consider these youth will not get the chance to experience more than what their earlier years did.
And it is tragic we will all miss out on their potential contributions.
Unfortunately, there will be a longer article about this later. (end)