Colorado Springs teacher Brittni Darras was given the worst news imaginable during a parent/teacher conference a few months ago. One of her best students had attempted suicide. The vibrant young girl felt that no one cared for her or would miss her when she was gone, but was stopped by police moments before committing the act.
Brittni was so impacted by the situation that she was inspired to write a letter not only to the young girl, but to every one of her students… telling them exactly how special each and every one of them are.
She took to Facebook to share her experience, and the resulting viral post has been shared nearly 200,000 times:
Her daughter—a friendly, intelligent, beautiful, driven, young woman—not only planned to commit suicide, but was in the act of doing so when the police got a Safe 2 Tell report, broke in and stopped her. She had deleted her social media accounts and left goodbye letters; she was ready to leave the world. As her mom sat across from me, we both had tears streaming down our faces.”
“Feeling helpless, I asked if I could write my student a letter to be delivered to her at the hospital; she said her daughter would love that.
My student got the letter; her mom said that her daughter cried, turned to her mom and said, “How could somebody say such nice things about me? I didn’t think anybody would miss me if I was gone.”
It made me realize that I was way too close to losing another student to suicide. I spent the next two months writing cards to every one of my students—over 100 of them—telling each one what is special and unique about them”
“Suicide is growing to be more and more common, and I can’t help but to think that it’s a direct result of the pressure we put on these kids—to be successful, to fit in, to be the best in their class/sport/etc.
We need to remember that each human being is unique, and that is what makes them special. Instead of trying to change it, we need to embrace it, because together, we can make a difference, and we can save lives! #suicideawareness”
It turns out that this isn’t the first time Brittni has gone above and beyond for her students. When she found out that one of her cheerleaders was shaving her head to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma society she decided to shave her head as well.
The Bald for Bucks campaign raised nearly $30,000.
I can’t stress how important it is to tell those around you how you feel. Depression is a hidden disease, you don’t see suicide coming, you never know what battle someone is facing… but a kind word of encouragement will make all the difference.