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Original post made
on Oct 20, 2009
That's terrible. Let's hope that this tread does not spread further.
To all the youngsters: Life is beautiful and a great gift. Every moment is a great joy. No stress is worth taking your life to the tracks. There are people who love you , no matter what. So Live and Enjoy.
Always a heartbreaking story and we're hearing it too often lately. I wish he could have known how fleeting his feelings of despair were, and how many friends and options he had. But depression doesn't allow that, nor does a quick decision on a bad day. When there are so many deaths by suicide in our little Palo Alto/Mtn View enclave, it makes me wonder how society fails in every way...from the family, to the school, to the friends, and yes, even to strangers like me.
While this really is a tragedy, I wonder why there is not a call for the source of the problem to be reviewed, rather than just the symptoms. The source is obviously the School that these disturbed individuals are either attending, or in at least one case, was going to attend. Obviously something wrong is going on there.
Has anyone really looked at the similarities between the people involved (including the ones that were prevented)? There must be some link between at least a few of them.
BTW, there is no "neighborhood" selection for where I live, even though my house has been here for over 30 years... so I just picked one.
How very, very sad.
I was just noticing the other day that the 24/7 police presence at the RR crossings was gone. Not that they could really stop someone who was determined to die, just something I noticed.
Hmm, everyone seems to be focusing on the psychological aspect of this, but I wonder if there isn't a more practical issue. Often teens employ anti-acne drugs that cause depression. It might be useful to know whether this played any role in these very unfortunate cases.
An excellent question, Detective. I hope someone is looking into this. Or other medications or products these students may have been using that could contribute to sudden onset of depression.
What about a "neighborhood watch" concept, where folks sign up for walking around these key train intersections (taking dogs for a walk, for example) around the trains' arrival times? If folks were out walking, talking, taking dogs for walks during the key times (the schedules are, of course, published) it could serve as a deterrent, a distraction, or, best case, an opportunity for outreach.
It would take a major volunteer effort, and scheduling challenge, but it might increase awareness, visibility, and preventive opportunity.
Brilliant to hear folks digging for the real issues. For a while this has been approached by grief-induced bad-ideas like demanding the barrier trees be cleared, and increasing the volume of Caltrain horns. Both these awful ideas have been put into practice along some sections of track and clearly - it did nothing to stop the latest tragedy.
So sad. Did all these students attend Gunn High School? If so, something needs to be looked at to see if there are any correlations. Seriously.
Very tragic news and very upsetting. When I came to the peninsula in 1979 there were always flowers and wreaths left at that intersection from a prior time when someone had died there. We all want this trend to stop and need to seek ways to help our young people feel less alienated. Teenage years can be full of joy but also despair and young people feel things so deeply. How can we help these kids see that death is permanent . . . but problems don't have to be.
Is it possible to install a one-mile barrier along the tracks, a similar idea borrowed from the Golden Gate Bridge Suicide barrier? Is there any talks about building a barrier?
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