Photo by Jon Anderson
Hoover High School Sept 2015
Hoover High School in Hoover, Ala.
A student at Hoover High School has confessed to writing disturbing notes found in boys’ restrooms on Monday, apparently in an attempt to bring awareness to the issue of suicide, school officials said today.
The notes indicated a student was planning to commit suicide at school on Friday but did not threaten any harm to others, school officials said. However, another note scrawled on a bathroom stall encouraged other people to join in on suicide Friday and bring weapons to school.
“The apparent motive in this situation was to bring awareness and assistance to students who may be going through tough times – and possibly contemplating suicide,” school officials said in an email to parents and the community today. “Obviously, this was the wrong way to go about bringing awareness to these issues.
“Our school system and police took this situation very seriously and worked tirelessly to pinpoint the origin of this note, ultimately bringing resolution to this matter,” the school system’s email said. “We know it has caused great unrest in the community. Our School Resource Officers, school administrators, counselors and others will be working to determine the next appropriate steps.”
The email said school will be in session Friday with all academic and athletic activities continuing as planned.
“We have had stepped-up security this week in partnership with the amazing Hoover Police Department and as always, safety of our students, faculty staff and employees remains a top priority,” the email said.
Hoover police Capt. Gregg Rector said in a separate statement that police originally did not know if they were dealing with a troubled student who desperately needed help or an individual or individuals playing a cruel prank with the intent of causing panic.
Since Monday, school resource officers at HHS have looked at video surveillance to try and identify the person or students who wrote the letter, Rector said. Two of the resource officers identified the student this morning, and the student confessed to writing and posting the letters, he said.
“We believe this student likely acted alone, and it’s not appropriate at this time to judge his actions or behavior,” Rector said. “Our primary focus at this point, along with school officials, is to guide this young man and his family towards appropriate resources.”
Rector thanked everyone who helped resolve the investigation, including several students who provided information. He also thanked school resource officers Chris Bryant and Thomas Kitchens for their work.
“Their determination to solve a case and their dedication to the students and employees at HHS was evident throughout this week,” Rector said.
Hoover schools spokesman Jason Gaston said he could not comment about whether any disciplinary action was being taken against the student involved or whether the secondary note found on the bathroom stall was written by the same student.
Erica Techo contributed to this article.