Opinion: Dear Diary, why don’t we talk about teen deaths?


Crista Alarcon

People who have dealt with the loss of friends and family members often have nowhere to express their feelings but pieces of paper. There are people who you can turn to, however, such as the Teen Counseling Hotline at (800) 852-8336.

Dear Diary,

Earlier this year, there was yet another school shooting. This time in Nashville. It was at an elementary school. 

When did things like this start becoming “just another?” Six people were killed and three of them were kids. 

These things cannot keep happening. The reality is that death is something that everyone deals with, and now especially it is something that teenagers deal with, too. 

Over the past four years, five teenagers have died under horrible circumstances in our community.

— Staff Writer Crista Alarcon

Teen suicide rates as well as the frequency of mass shooting have skyrocketed, which makes it so death is something we teenagers witness in our peers instead of just our grandparents. 

But why aren’t we talking about it? Why is death so taboo? Has our society become that desensitized to these teen deaths? Has it become so hard for us to cope to the point where we blame the victim? 

Over the past four years, five teenagers have died under horrible circumstances in our community, yet their deaths are barely talked about. In 2020, a female student committed suicide. She was 12. In 2020, a current student and a graduate were in a fatal car accident. One was 16, and the other was 19. Last year, another student was struck and killed by a car. He was 16. Last year, another female student committed suicide. She was 16. 

This February, an old friend of mine was murdered in her home. She was 15. Her death hit me like a bullet train, but many refused to talk about it. This seems to be the case every time something like this happens. 

Shouldn’t our voices be heard over the noise?

— Staff Writer Crista Alarcon

The memories of these people live on in horrible rumors or through people who suddenly claim the victims as friends, instead of in meaningful discussions about what happened. 

At the end of the day, age and popularity status don’t matter. No one deserves to die in the way that these teenagers did. Their family and friends shouldn’t have to listen to the rumors and the fake friends. 

What happens when the family and friends of the victims don’t have anyone to listen to them except a piece of paper? Shouldn’t our voices be heard over the noise? Shouldn’t our stories be heard, too? 

We should have a support group to raise awareness of these deaths or just have someone to hear us. 

Thank you for listening, Diary. It seems you are the only one who does.

EDITED: At the request of family and friends, the names of the students have been removed.

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