What comes to your mind when you hear ‘back to school necklace’? Well, for many parents, they would rush to think that their children are talking about friendship jewelry and so forth. After all, a necklace is one of those jewelries that most school-going kids like wearing every now and then in order to look beautiful and attractive. Therefore, this may not sound an alarm to any layman parent out there.
However, such phrases have become popular in the recent past. Most students are using it in order to pass a certain message that they will soon commit suicide once school resumes. As a parent, there is a need for you to know the idea behind this phrase so that you can take appropriate actions before it is too late.
What Is A Back To School Necklace? And What Does It Mean?
If you check this phrase on Google, you will see a number of results including a euphemism for a noose. In most cases, it is a code that connotes suicide by hanging. This can be attributed to the fact that some school-going children usually despair whenever school starts or resumes.
For instance during the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of schools had been closed in order to contain the virus. However, once the schools resumed, a number of students started thinking of how they could take away their lives by hanging. Such unfortunate incidences have contributed immensely to the growing number of suicide cases among the teen and youths in general.
What Are Some Of The Reasons Why Students Are Committing Suicide After Resuming School?
There are many reasons why most students have resulted into suicide moments after resuming school. While they were at home, hardly could you hear them contemplate about suicide. However, after the resumption of school, these cases start to skyrocket. Here are some of the contributing factors towards this problem.
1. Disruptions Caused By COVID-19
When COVID-19 struck the country, there were many things that took a paradigm shift. From the way people interact to the way people conduct their day-to-day businesses, there are many things that have changed. Some people were laid off and others had to close their businesses. This caused a lot of trauma on students whose parents lost their source of income.
Other parents died due to COVID-19 disease. With school resumption, much has not changed, this could further escalate the already-bad situation. After all, not all parents will be able to provide for their kids. Other kids have become orphans and have been left at the mercies of well-wishers. Such changes could be one of the triggers of suicide among students.
Although depression is prevalent among adults, students are not immune to it. You will note that most students are now battling depression day-in day out. From bad grades in school to poor relationships at home, there are a plethora of issues that can cause depression among students.
In fact, some complain about being body-shamed by their peers. This further lowers their self-esteem and thus makes them feel vulnerable and worthless. The aftermath of this is suicide and that why some consider ‘back to school necklace’ once school opens. On the brighter side, having a little animal as a pet has proved to help battle depression.
It is no secret that there are some schools where bullying is the order of the day. Such incidents make students feel traumatized anytime that they have to go back to school. Since most of them have to be away from their homes for quite some time, this may make them contemplate suicide and even take away their lives. After all, bullying makes the student feel bad about himself or herself and if the situation is not checked, it may lead to more adverse effects, including suicide.
4. Forced Career Choices
In most countries, students normally succumb to intense pressure from parents and teachers to choose certain careers and abandon some. While the teachers and parents may have the best interest at heart, this may lead to more serious problems. Students also deserve a right to be heard. Whether one wants to become a lawyer or an engineer, all those career choices matter and can be achieved.
Due to the intense pressure, students are forced to take up certain subjects that are not their cup of tea. They end up performing badly and thus get stressed up. Anytime they have to go to school, they will think of committing suicide in order to get rid of such pressures from external entities.
5. Glorified Grades
If one scores a lower grade in school, he or she is deemed a failure by others. Your friends, family and the society at large may start looking down upon you. If your esteem is normally dictated by such issues, you may end up taking your life moments after resuming school.
Also, high cut-off points make students overwork in school. At some points, they have to forfeit co-curricular activities in order to keep up with their peers in other schools. If such students do not achieve their intended goals at the end of the term, they many choose to commit suicide.
6. Not Speaking Up
Most students who choose to commit suicide only speak up on the last minutes. In most cases, they opt to write a suicide note and leave it at the crime scene. Perhaps if the student spoke up, he or she would have been helped. Whether it is a family problem, or an individual problem, all these issues can be sorted on the go. Speaking up is the first step towards healing.
Tell-Tale Signs Of A Student Who Want To Commit Suicide
If you are a parent or a guardian, you should always keep an eye on your teen so that he or she remains safe all the time. However, if your teen or kid is contemplating suicide, there a number of things that will change. These include:
1. Severe Sadness Or Moodiness
Although one is likely to be sad due to one reason or another, this should not escalate to exponential levels. If your kid remains sad for the better part of the week or month, watch out. Also, if the child has long lasting mood swings and unexpected range. All these are clear indications that all is not well and suicide may be an action away.
2. Sudden Withdrawal
In most cases, individuals who are stressed tend to withdraw from their peers. From their friends at school to their friends at home, there are many people whom victims of stress and depression stay away from.
If you notice that your child normally likes staying in confined places that he or she used to be in the past, know that something is wrong somewhere and something needs to be done urgently. Better still, if your kid losses interest or pleasure in things he or she used to like in the past, chances are that he is stressed and may contemplate suicide.
3. Changes In Personality Or Appearance
Your once smart child may soon start looking unkempt due to one reason or another. Others rarely get concerned about their personal appearances before the public. Besides this, victims of suicidal thoughts usually start changing their behavior and attitude towards those they live with. If you notice such signs, know that your child has a mental problem and needs urgent help.
4. Increased Use Of Drugs And Alcohol
Perhaps most victims of such circumstances normally indulge in alcohol and drug abuse. Here, they will take all the hard drugs so that they can forget their problems. However, this lasts for a short time as once they sober up, reality hits back and thus makes them drink more. If this is not checked, the teenager may start becoming a drunkard at an early age.
5. Sleep Problems
Victims of these problems normally experience a number of sleeping problems. Some hardly sleep at night. However, there are others who tend to oversleep. Both scenarios are tell-tale signs that something is not right and the victim needs urgent help.
6. Threatening Or Talking About Suicide
Individuals who want to take away their life normally start making jokes that they may commit suicide. Others start alerting friends that they may commit suicide anytime soon. There are others that start writing suicidal notes every now and then. All these are red flags and something needs to be done urgently.
Apart from the above-mentioned 4 signs, victims of mental health usually start feeling hopeless about life. In fact, such students may deem themselves as failures and can hate school with passion.
Since there is little or no expectation that circumstances can improve, such individuals usually opt to take away their lives. This is the other reason why you may hear them talk about back to school necklaces every now and then.
How To Deal With Back To School Necklace
Since we have looked at the various signs that can help you identify a suicidal student, time is ripe for you to know the various ways you can help such individuals to avert such weird thoughts. This will play a great role in dealing with the back to school necklace issue. Some of the helpful tips that can help you get started include:
1. Change In School Curriculum
For many years, the primary and secondary education curriculum has always focused more on book-based activities instead of competency-based activities. This in turn makes students become like robots whenever they are in class. They have to cram everything they have been taught so that they can pass their exams.
Failure to do this, they will fail and be deemed as failures in life. To avert such problems, there is a need for a paradigm shift in the education curriculum. Ideally, it should blend both book-based and competency based activities. This will reduce stress among students and make them more holistic and not just academic-oriented students. Most importantly, they will always be looking forward to heading back to school.
2. Introduction Of Guidance And Counselling In Schools
Since mental issues can affect everyone, there is a need to have a department that offers guidance and counselling services to all students. Here, students will have a good platform to vent and air their personal issues. This will help them feel relieved and love being at school all the time. Consequently, suicidal thoughts will be able to remain at bay.
3. Online Learning Should Be Introduced At School
Students who cannot learn in schools can learn from their homes and still get the much-needed skills, knowledge and competences, thanks to modern technology. This will go a long way in keeping COVID-19 infection at bay while allowing students to have flexible learning timelines.
4. Teaching Can Be Done In Shifts
Instead of being in school for 10 to 12 hours in a day, students can be taught in shifts and thus allow them to attend to other personal issues back at home. This will help them have a balanced life and thereby reduce the pressure of being at school all the time.
5. Introduction Of Co-Curricular Activities
From games to trips, there are many activities students can engage in whenever they are in school. Since these are merry-making activities, be sure that the students will be able to have fun and relieve their stress.
They will also mingle with other students and learn more from each other. In addition, this help foster friendships among students which in turn enables them to have better places to vent whenever they think of committing suicide in school.
6. Parents Should Visit Their kids In Schools Every Now And Then
Those students who are boarding students usually find it difficult to have adequate time with their parents. This is because most of them are always at school for the better part of their academic life.
Since the only time they would have time with their parents or guardians is only during holidays, there is a need for them to be allowed to interact with parents even when the school programs are going on.
This is the reason why parents should be allowed to visit their kids and know how they are faring. By doing so, students will not suffer from homesickness and other things that can may make them contemplate suicide. If you’re a mom, here’s how you can remain strong for your family.
Back to school necklace is not a strange phenomenon among students. It has claimed the lives of many students who would have become important people in the near future. However, due to one reason or another, they ended up taking away their lives moments after resuming school. This is not right. With the recommendations we have mentioned above, these strategies will help curb that problem and put an end to such scenarios. Instead of thinking of how one will terminate his or her life after resuming school, he or she will yearn to be school and achieve the academic goals one has set for himself or herself.