Kindergarten Teacher Suicide Traumatizes All


kindergarten teacher suicideAn Illinois elementary school is dealing with multiple losses this week after first a beloved kindergarten teacher died after undergoing surgery, and then on the same day of her funeral another kindergarten teacher killed herself. But Linda Walker didn't only kill herself, she decided to hang herself inside the kindergarten classroom.

As a mom to a kindergartner, I just couldn't help but put myself in the shoes of the parents, the kids, the whole school. Can you imagine if your child's teacher killed herself in the same place where she sits and plays, learns, and supposedly feels safe every day of the week? I feel for anyone who believes taking her life is the only choice, but seriously, this lady should have thought about someone other than herself. Thank god it wasn't a child who found her hanging in the Carterville classroom. 

I also don't love the characterization of people who commit suicide as "selfish" but in this instance, honestly, she could have done this at home. Choosing a safe place for children to end her life was an outrageous choice, and one that makes me a lot angrier at the teacher, than sympathetic. Personally, I wouldn't want my child to go back to a classroom where such a violent death took place. And forget trying to explain suicide to a 5-year-old.

Now these kindergartners have lost two teachers in one week, and naturally the entire school is mourning. By all accounts Walker was a wonderful teacher, and inspired more than one former student to share positive thoughts about her. Which makes it all the more confounding that such a "wonderful" teacher would choose the classroom as an appropriate place to leave her dead body dangling.

I'm furious for these parents. No matter how wonderful a teacher Linda Walker was, she left their children high and dry of her own choosing. And she risked traumatizing them even further by doing it in what should be a place of joy and learning. I hope these kids and families can get through this horrible time.

What do you think about this teacher's suicide?

Image via mrsdkrebs/Flickr

education, in the news, kindergarten


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nonmember avatar Emily

Its tragic, but if someone is depressed enough to consider suicide then that person probably isn't considering how traumatic it would be for others where they found her. Have some respect. This lady was obviously dealing with problems bigger than 'omg - whats going to happen when they find me'. And also show some compassion - yeah it sucks, but maybe she wanted to go in a place where she was happy - maybe that was her classroom. It sucks all around but don't go dragging the name of a dead lady through the mud because she was able to properly handle her suicide.

ejbljb ejbljb

This article is pretty harsh...clearly this teacher was so tormented that she wasn't thinking rationally. No, a wonderful teacher would not normally hang themselves in a classroom which just goes to show how terrible her mental illness was. 

lovin... loving_my_hero

After having grieved the one year anniversary of my dear uncle's suicide yesterday, I think your understanding of mental illness is very, very poor. Of course the initial reaction to a suicide is anger and thoughts of how selfish the person was, but if you take the time to dig deeper and gain a greater understanding of what you're writing about you would understand that only a very ill person could do such a thing to themself. You must also understand that this illness is not a choice, nor is it something that can be easily fixed with medication. Instead of chastizing the deceased, make an effort to raise awareness and give hope to those who suffer with such extreme depression. My heart goes out to her family and to her students.

purpl... purpleducky

I think she was a severely depressed person who did not get the help she needed. I will not judge her for committing suicide or for doing it in the school room. She was not thinking clearly so you cannot expect her to make rational or logical decisions. I also do not see what is so hard with explaining suicide to a 5 year old. I explained it to my sons numerous times due to having had multiple people in my life commit suicide.

jpfsmom jpfsmom

The bullcrap teachers are going through with students,parents,administrators and politicians, I'm surprised this isn't an epidemic. Even your attitude April proves you think teachers are inferior. I'm sure the kindergartners that didn't even see the incident will be fine, they probably won't know what happened. I feel for her family and loved ones more than anything.

Kristina Lawler Funk

I think your choice of the phrase "high and dry," given her method of suicide, is very insensitive.

Lynette Lynette

I agree with April.  Killing herself in the classrm was incredibly selfish.  I have gone through depression, I have had those thoughts.  So as much as I sympathise with this sad woman I just find it hard to get around the fact that she did it in the classrm.

elibee elibee

Well so much for that point of view, April. Majority of comments so far think you are out of line. Add me to that list. I can only pray you will never know how this teacher felt. A little compassion however would not be amiss here.

hamem... hamemedowns

Mental illness is very misunderstood by mainstream America. I am happy that most of these comments understand that this woman was not thinking rationally.

heave... heavenlybliss19

I think it's sad that no one reached out to the poor woman in time to prevent her death.  Yes, it is very traumatic for the students.  But, did they ever consider that maybe she killed herself in the classroom because that was the place that caused her so much pain?  The majority of suicides are done in a specific place as a message to someone, or it was a place of comfort for that person, or most likely it was the place that caused them pain ad that was where they chose to END that pain.  The children are going to be scarred by this, but one way to help is to NOT push it in their faces!  Don't remind them daily that they laugh, learn, and play in the room where their teacher committed suicide!  Instead, talk to them about how she was in so much pain, and now she's happy and out of that pain.  But don't look down on this woman for what she did - look down on those around her that could have helped and didn't!

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