Sixth Grader Shoots and Kills Himself During Zoom Class
A tragic incident in Woodbridge, California is reminding teachers and parents of the gravity of mental health.
Authorities say an 11-year-old boy shot and killed himself around 11 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 2 during a distance learning class that was taking place on Zoom. His camera’s visual and audio was off. But his sister, who was also engaged in a distance learning class on Zoom in a room nearby, had her camera and audio on.
The girl found her brother and ran to a neighbor’s house to summon 911. The boy was transported to the hospital where he died.
The deceased was a student at Woodbridge Elementary School in the Lodi Unified School District. In the aftermath of his death, LUSD has increased its mental health outreach.
"Our thoughts are with the family affected by this terrible tragedy," Superintendent Cathy Nichols-Washer said in a letter to parents. "We also offer our condolences to the Woodbridge Elementary community."
Suicidal ideation is on the rise among children and teens nationwide. It has sparked intense discussions about the ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic and the social isolation of distance learning in particular.
Though authorities have said Wednesday’s shooting was intentional, the boy’s parents say they believe it was an accident.