STOKES COUNTY, N.C. — A Stokes County community is mourning after a child took her own life.
An eighth grader died by suicide this week, the Stokes County Schools superintendent confirmed with WFMY News 2. Kallie Fagg went to Southeastern Stokes Middle School.
The superintendent said extra counselors are on campus Thursday to help students and staff grieve and process what happened. It is the first week of school for students.
Kallie's father shared a statement with WFMY News 2 that reads in part, "My daughter was beautiful inside and out and so full of love, despite losing her mother at eight. She just wanted to love and be loved. It’s time we as parents put down the phones that babysit our children and teach our kids to stand up, be compassionate, empathetic, and loving human beings."
The Stokes County Schools Superintendent also said this tragedy is pushing school leaders to revisit conversations about how to best support students and build strong relationships.
Kallie's father also wanted to address bullying. He feels that led to his daughter's death and wants all parents to raise kind children, so something like this doesn't happen again.
Stokes County Schools released the following statement in regards to Kallie's suicide:
It is with deep sadness and heavy hearts we share about Kallie Fagg’s death, by suicide. We are devastated by this tragic loss, and our thoughts and condolences go out to the family, friends, and all those affected by this incident.
During this challenging period, it is important for us to come together as a community. We encourage everyone to support and uplift one another, offering comfort and empathy throughout the grieving process. Our school counselors, staff, teachers, and administrators are here to provide assistance, and offer guidance to all.
In addition to providing emotional support, the school administration will review and reassess policies and procedures surrounding students well-being and safety. We want to ensure that all students feel secure and protected within the school environment.
We would like to extend our gratitude to the community for their outpouring of support and kindness during this difficult time. Your understanding and compassion are truly appreciated by all of us at Southeastern Stokes Middle School and Stokes County Schools.
WFMY News 2 dug into data about both suicide and bullying in the U.S. and North Carolina. A national report found about 20% of students across the United States report bullying each year. The CDC reported that North Carolina ranks 40th in the country in suicide rates.
The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is there to help anyone who is having suicidal thoughts.
The Mayo Clinic offers tips on how trusted adults can help teens overcome suicidal thoughts.
- Acknowledge negative feelings and offer support. If your child is going through a tough time, listen to them and let them know you are there to help. Look for ways to offer problem-solving and coping techniques.
- Be honest. Ask them how they are doing and review past challenging experiences. Talk about how they overcame those challenges. Gently remind them that things will get better.
- Promote social connectivity. Find ways to connect more as a family and look for other healthy connections to override feelings of loneliness.
- Ask questions and have conversations. Be proactive and ask what's wrong. If you're worried about your child hurting themselves, be direct and ask, "Are you thinking about hurting yourself?"
- Seek professional help. There are many treatment options for people having suicidal thoughts. The Mayo Clinic says more than 90% of people who commit suicide have one or more treatable mental illnesses.
MORE WAYS TO GET WFMY NEWS 2
Subscribe to our daily newsletter Let’s Get 2 It!
ADD THE WFMY+ APP TO YOUR STREAMING DEVICE
ROKU: Add the channel from the ROKU store or by searching for WFMY.
Amazon Fire TV: Search for WFMY to find the free app to add to your account. You can also add the app directly to your Fire TV through your Amazon account.