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Newton Mourning Third Student Suicide

Newton South High School junior Roee Grutman died on Thursday morning.

Photo credit: Patch file photo.
Photo credit: Patch file photo.
The third Newton high schooler to die this school year took his own life, according to Newton South High School Principal Joel Stembridge, who sent an email to parents on Friday. 

Newton South High School junior Roee Grutman died on Thursday morning.

“There were no indications to any of us — or to his family — that Roee was even contemplating suicide. There are no easy answers. It is simply beyond comprehension," wrote Stembridge.

This is the third death of a Newton high school student by suicide in this school year. Newton North senior Karen Douglas and Newton South sophomore Katie Stack took their lives in October. Newton held a community forum in the wake after the two girls’ suicides. The suicides also sparked a national debate.

In the wake of Grutman's death, the schools will hold a community forum in the Newton South High School auditorium at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 11.

Lila McCain, Douglas' mother, has been working to raise awareness about adolescent depression and mental health in the wake of her daughter's death. 

“It just feels like a surreal nightmare that I can’t wake up from,” McCain told the Boston Globe. “I’m still trying to process Karen’s loss, and move forward . . . and now Roee. I’m numb. When they say there are no words, there are no words.”

Sheriffchris February 08, 2014 at 05:07 PM
Religion is often referred to as a crutch by detractors, but it would seem, based upon ever increasing suicide numbers that perhaps we should allow GOD back into our schools. I'm thinking that, these kids may very well need a crutch to help them through some tough times !!
Gail Neuman February 08, 2014 at 05:47 PM
Unbelievably tragic. Were any of these 3 siblings of kids lost in the shooting?
gary schlesinger February 08, 2014 at 06:33 PM
how would god in schools eliminate suicide? whose god should be in the schools? allah? the hindu deities? or do you mean jesus? what about those who do not believe in the god the school chooses? how would the school choose which god to let in? best to not let any one religion be in charge of public schools.
Steve Gamble February 08, 2014 at 07:45 PM
Gary, best to not have public schools at all. They are money sink holes that fail over and over again. Give the parents vouchers/tax credits and let them choose schools for their kids that will be responsive to the kids educational needs, not the NEA
Susan DerKazarian February 08, 2014 at 07:51 PM
@Gail Neuman, this article is about Newton, MA, not Newtown, CT.
Dan Casseday February 08, 2014 at 09:09 PM
Unfortunately, suicide is a national epidemic The numbers are astronomical. If sex and AIDS are okay to talk about with students, then America needs to wake up and talk about depression more. People need more human contact and human support, not more isolation in plain sight thanks to oversized schools and hiding behind technology. I feel for the parents of the students who committed suicide; my wife and I have been in those shoes with our oldest, brightest son when he was 16. There were no obvious clues; his classmates thought he was the happiest kid in his high school. Military suicides are the highest they've ever been, another indicator that young people's self esteem and sense of community ain't what it used to be.
John Slatten February 09, 2014 at 07:41 AM
is this another bullying case?? wake up parents,teachers and schools. Life is tough on kids to much pressure. Get full time counselors, with access by students that no-one else can see. WAKE UP AMERICA IT'S OUR FUTURE
Rod Bish February 09, 2014 at 09:46 AM
Were any of these students using fluticasone propionate for sinus or respiratory conditions?
jordan lewis ring February 09, 2014 at 11:16 AM
MY deepest heartfelt condolences to the family, friends....tragic....and ongoing!....because as i suggested before no one is listening but a few folks who understand the issues in the community that has witnessed this tragedy before....no one listened then nor will they now....the community of bright lights and big schools is w/o any leadership in these complex issues...and the problem will not end here!...of that you can be certain!.....what is certain is all that is in place DOES NOT work, never did!... a single death is one to many!...and those with the talent remain silent because it simply is to painful to take on the political's now in office!...until the voices of talent rise up.....the epidemic will not go away....the arrogant mindsets in office have no answers....except the wrong one's....and the issue will not go away....be certain of that fact!.....it is here now as it has been in the past, repeated until dealt with by bright intellects not now on the scene....best to friends and to the family ...God bless...
Robert February 09, 2014 at 03:25 PM
High school years are some of the toughest in our lifetime. Highly critical time for mandatory individual HS counseling twice a schoolyear. Often primary care physicians are treating mood disorders with very poor results. Adolescents are quick to abuse & develop addictions to sedatives and amphetamines (ADHD medications) putting suicide risk factors 15% higher for the already high risk adolscent. Lets have some group talk therapy and education built in the weekly class schedules including the health and mood improving physical ed.
Cindy Halpern February 09, 2014 at 03:31 PM
So very sad. High school students have terrible pressure about getting good grades, doing well on the SAT, and getting accepted into a good school. They must learn that they will be accepted and loved even if they don't perform to expectations.
Ned February 09, 2014 at 04:10 PM
My condolences and sorrow. I wonder if we are pushing these students too hard? I watch and listen to my neighbors who seem to think they have to engineer every minute of their childrens lives, have to have perfect grades plus push even the ones who shouldnt go into college. Think on it
Jan February 09, 2014 at 04:27 PM
Something is more than drastically wrong here. 3 students, same school. I can't but wonder what (not if) the other connections are. So, so sad.
Marie Claire February 09, 2014 at 05:06 PM
bullying both at home and in school and some type of child abuse. that's what's going on here.
Pat Edwards February 09, 2014 at 06:34 PM
life is hard... I don't blame them.
its me February 09, 2014 at 07:27 PM
pat that's sad
its me February 09, 2014 at 07:28 PM
How did he die????????/
Bonnie February 10, 2014 at 08:43 AM
We as a community have to wake up and provide services to our children to prevent this. A few years back Needham was dealing with a rash of teen suicide. Perhaps we can reach out to that community to see what they put in place and if it has been effective. My heart breaks for these families. A permanent solution to a temporary problem is not the answer but often too many cannot see that.
its me February 10, 2014 at 08:49 AM
Can someone tell me how this boy died? Illness ,took his life??
Bonnie February 10, 2014 at 09:43 AM
its me. The article says he committed suicide.

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