DeSoto School District dealing with spike in suicides

DeSOTO, Mo. -Children, some as young as 10-years-old are committing suicide, and it is the second leading cause of death in Missouri for children and young adults.

DeSoto families say that in the past year several kids in the district have taken their lives.  The school district says the problem they face is the same one every community faces.

DeSoto High School has just under 1,000 students. Yet, in the past two weeks, three students have taken their lives who were attending the school or who had just left.  Three different families say that as many as ten have done so in the last year.

We asked DeSoto Superintendent Dr. Josh Isaacson how many kids have committed in the district in the last year. He said he didn't want to say a number, out of respect to the families. He did say the number 10 is not correct.

Isaacson didn't want to go on camera, but he says: "The safety of our students and staff is our number one priority. Safety in schools is more than just securing entryways and practicing drills. Safety also involves the social and emotional well-being of each of us."

Dr. Isaacson takes exception to anyone thinking the district is not being proactive with students, staff, and families. He says they have made everyone aware services offered for those who might need some help and sending home information for families to be proactive as well.

The DeSoto police department says that last year in their jurisdiction 8 kids have attempted suicide, with one fatality. Jefferson County Police report five youth suicides in unincorporated Jefferson County during the same time period. Festus has also had at least one case. These areas feed into the DeSoto School District.