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Suicidal student given 'some help'

Cary Ashby • Updated Oct 10, 2017 at 12:14 AM

MILAN — A Milan boy was charged with inducing panic after reportedly clutching a pair of scissors and aiming them toward his stomach on a school bus Friday.

The Erie County Sheriff’s Office determined the 14-year-old student “had not harmed himself in any way,” although he had threatened to do so while on a bus at Edison High School.

“I will say he’s gotten some help,” Edison Local Schools Superintendent Tom Roth said Monday. “I can only say so much because of privacy laws. … I wish that people would respect the child’s privacy.”

After a deputy was able to free the scissors from the boy and spoke to him for several minutes Friday, he told the boy’s stepmother that the 14-year-old needed to be evaluated at a hospital. Shortly after leaving the school, the deputy checked the boy’s home, where he found both parents’ vehicles in the driveway. The deputy then contacted the Fisher-Titus Medical Center emergency room and the office of the boy’s doctor. It’s unknown if the boy was taken to the hospital or a doctor.

The sheriff’s office received the complaint at 7:12 a.m. and the deputy who responded to Edison advised Principal Jeff Goodwin of the situation. A bus arrived shortly afterward and the driver left the bus, telling the deputy the boy “had a pair of scissors and was threatening to kill himself.”

“The bus was still loaded with students and the majority of which were highly upset by the situation,” according to the deputy’s report.

As the deputy approached the student along the aisle, he reported the boy “was holding a pair of scissors in his right hand with the blades pointed toward his stomach” and didn’t respond to his voice, but his body seemed tense and he “was staring blankly at the seat back in front of him.”

The deputy secured the boy’s hand and the scissors while the bus was evacuated. He reported the student “was non-responsive to most of my questions,” but was able to determine the boy had been diagnosed ADHD — for which he has taken medication “most of his life.”

“(He) went on to explain that he had recently gotten in trouble at home and at school for bad grades and for looking at pornographic material on his computer and school-issued tablet,” according to the report. “(He) was concerned about the disciplinary issues he may face at school and contemplated killing himself with the scissors on the bus. (He) advised that he had harmed himself once last year by cutting himself.”

Goodwin contacted the student’s stepmother, who then went to the school. According to the deputy’s report, the stepmother reported recent disciplinary issues and his history with ADHD, both as the boy had described them, and said he never had attempted to harm himself before this.

Roth was asked about the student’s disciplinary history.

“He’s not a kid who really gets in trouble,” the superintendent said.

The boy’s father also came to the school and was told his son needed to speak to a mental health professional. 

Roth said the students who were evacuated off the bus seemed to be OK once staff members and counselors spoke to them and assured them the boy was going to be fine. 

“It was still a pretty traumatic experience,” the superintendent added. “We had staff and counselors (who) were there to meet with them.”

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