When is a Tweet a Cry for Help?

Mar. 1, 2012 / By

The kNOw Youth Media Fresno’s Youth Voice


Yesterday, T.J. Lane, a 17-year old student at Chardon High, fired 10 shots
in his school’s cafeteria.Three students died and two were wounded.Lane posted on
Twitter that he was going to bring a gun to school.People who knew him said he
was quiet and didn’t really have friends.

Social media is a big part of our lives. Having regular updates from friends is
one of the things we like most about Facebook and Twitter. But sometimes those
updates are concerning, or even alarming, like what Lane posted about bringing
a gun to school.

When we see alarming updates, sometimes it’s easy to write them off as drama.
But the tragedy at Chardon High is a reminder that what may seem like someone
looking for attention could just as easily be a real warning flag.

When someone posts about suicide threats, self injury, or other warning signs,
the right response is to view it as a cry for help – not a dramatic attempt at
getting attention. We shouldn’t judge our friends, but instead be there for them.

If someone had done this for T.J., a tragedy may not have occurred.




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The kNOw Fresno

Through The kNOw Youth Media's program, we create opportunities for our youth participants, who in turn create long-term positive change in their communities. Our approach weaves youth development and youth media innovation to produce our biannual youth publication, multimedia projects, and community forums.