A Clarksville Middle School is mourning the loss of two students after they took their own lives this week.
Ariel Chase’s mother says her 13-year-old daughter took her life, after her good friend also committed suicide.
Ariel’s mother says the two girls were enrolled at New Providence Middle School, Ariel through the school’s home school program.
Ariel’s mother says her daughter stood up for victims of bullying, something parents say is a major issue at the school.
“Verbal and physical. He was physically assaulted by a child for three days,” Kandi Smith is talking about her grandson who attends New Providence. “There’s a lot of bullying.”
Smith says she wants her kids to feel safe at school.
"I don't think there's harsh punishment at all, or very much punishment going on for the kids that are bullying,” Smith said. ‘What little bit that they do, I don't think that it's enough to stop it."
Montgomery County Commissioner Jason Knight says his kids have also been bullied in the district, and he thinks more needs to be done to let parents know what’s happening.
“The school district is working hard on their end, they’re taking care of the situation, but I don’t think they’re doing enough to inform parents,” Knight said.
Knight says parents should be informed about bullying and suicide involving students in the schools.
Knight posted on social media:
“Apparently there has been 2 suicides and 1 attempt this week & 7 attempts total in our schools indicates there is a problem. We need to address mental health issues and bullying better in our schools. My kids have complained about bullying many times. 🇺🇸😥
(1 Is too many, 1 attempt is too many let’s focus on our our children and their mental health)”
"I posted it because personally I think parents need to be aware of what's actually going on,” Knight said. “As a parent it's kind of troubling to know that some of the stuff is being held on the school district side."
Communication and help Knight and Smith hope could save a life in the future.
“These young people they don’t know how to deal with all of the emotions and the stress that they have in their lives,” Smith said. “It’s heartbreaking as a parent.”
The district sent this email to parents about the passing of the two students:
Dear Parents and Guardians of NPMS students,
Yesterday morning during my announcements, I shared with students that they are loved and supported by all of our teachers and administrators here. I did that because of the loss of two young lives in our community this week. Out of respect for the families and for privacy, we are not sharing specific information.
I do want to encourage you to listen to your children and reassure them that asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness. Let your child know that you, as well as adults at school, are here to help them through any problem, no matter what.
If you would like support or resources, please contact our school counselors, who can be reached by calling them at 931-648-5655, or emailing them at Melissa.Baker@cmcss.net; Margaret.Johnson@cmcss.net; or Jaya.Martin@cmcss.net
Our School System has placed a priority on supporting students in the areas of social and emotional health. There are videos available at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLzlXK5dEQdXaUbUx6jVMoRjsAcgsgzoLP and website links at: https://familyschoolconnection.com/social-emotional-learning/
If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide you can call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK or for more information visit their website.