Lanier High School reacts to student suicide



Posted on October 16, 2013 at 6:40 PM

AUSTIN -- A 16-year-old boy died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound Tuesday on the campus of Lanier High School.

That contradicts initial reports by the Austin Police Department that the incident involved a student cutting another student. 

Austin ISD officials confirmed the suicide reports just before 1:30 p.m. in a tweet, "#AISD PD: A student shot himself at Lanier High School a short while ago. The student has succumbed to the wound."

AISD also tweeted that Superintendent Dr. Meria Carstarphen informed Lanier parents and team members about the incident through telephone and emails.

The Austin Independent School District released the following statement from Superintendent Meria Carstarphen regarding an incident:

"Based on the information available to us at this time, I regret to inform you that a student shot himself at Lanier High School a short while ago. The student has succumbed to the wound. And, the students at the campus who were on lockdown are being released to their homes.

Buses will be available for students who ride the bus home. Parents also may pick up their students at the school. If parents are unable to pick up their students, busses will provide transportation.

We are saddened by this tragic loss. Our thoughts are with the family."

According to a mother of a Lanier student, the incident happened in the school's courtyard around noon.

Police have not released the name of the student, though friends tell KVUE the student was a father to a young son. They say he had been having problems at home. Friends also tell KVUE the young man had posted a picture of himself holding a gun to his head on social media threatening to kill himself. Friends told KVUE they did not believe he would actually go through with it.

The incident placed the campus on lockdown for about an hour Tuesday afternoon. The lockdown was lifted around 1 p.m., and the school released students early.

Message from the Principal, Kathy Ryan:
Principal Kathy Ryan sent this message to families and staff on October 15th, 2013 expressing her deepest sympathy to the community.
Dear Parents and Staff,

This is Kathy Ryan, principal of Lanier High School. I know you have already received a phone call from the AISD superintendent regarding today’s tragedy at our school.

I, too, want to express my deepest sympathies to the entire Lanier family. I want to let you know that we will have school tomorrow and we will provide counseling services for Lanier students, families and staff throughout the week and beyond as needed.

For counseling over the phone, we encourage students, families and staff members to call the Austin Travis County’s mobile crisis outreach team at 512-472-HELP (4357).
You will receive more information tomorrow via a letter from me. You can also go to our website for additional information.

Events on the campus for this evening have been postponed. Events scheduled for the rest of the week will resume tomorrow. However, the PSAT, which was planned for tomorrow, has been rescheduled to October 30.

In the next few days, I will set up a parent meeting to answer questions and address any concerns you may have.

School will begin at normal time Wednesday. AISD will provide counseling services for students, parents and faculty until 6 p.m. Tuesday as well as throughout the rest of the week. People needing help are also encouraged to call Austin Travis County Integral Care’s crisis hotline at 512-472-4357.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is also an available resource. That can be reached at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Go here to learn more about suicide prevention.