Here is the full transcript of Brittni Darras’ TEDx Talk: The fight against teen suicide begins in the classroom at TEDxMileHigh conference.
It was April, 2013, and I was one month away from completing my first year of teaching. I was at a barbecue when I got the call.
It was a number I didn’t recognize but something compelled me to answer it. My administrator was on the other end. This couldn’t be good. Administrators never call their teachers on Sundays. She told me that school follows a process when something happens to one of our students. The first step is informing that student’s current teachers.
In that moment, I could picture every single one of my students. I wondered which one is it, what happened, and most importantly, are they okay. She told me his name. She said there was an incident, he was taken to the hospital, and it didn’t look good.
I asked if there is anything I could do to help. Could I send flowers? Did he want visitors? I was 22 years old and I failed to understand the severity of the situation. It was too late. My 16 year-old student died by suicide. I was devastated.
No teacher, no parent, no human should ever have to attend a child’s funeral. I was also shocked. How could I have missed the signs? I had seen him almost every day for the past nine months and he seemed fine.