Hannahs Essay

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AP* is a trademark of the College Entrance Examination Board. T he College Entrance Examination Board was not involved in the pr oduction of this material. Copyright © 2008 Laying the Foundation ® , Inc., Dallas, TX. All rights reserved. Visit: www.layingthefoundation.org “The C Word in the Hallways,” Anna Quindlen Student Activity (1) The saddest phrase I’ve read in a long time is this one: psychological autopsy. That’s what the doctors call it when a kid kills himself and they go back over the plowed ground of his short life, and discover all the hidden markers that led to the rope, th e blade, the gun. There’s a plague on all our houses, and since it doesn’t announce itself with lumps or spots or protest marches, it has g one unremarked in the quiet suburbs and busy citi es where it has been laying waste. The number of suicides and homicides committed by teenagers, most often young men, has exploded in the last th ree decades, until it has become commonplace to have black-bordered photographs in yearbooks and murder suspects with acne problems. And everyone searches for r easons, and scapegoats, and soluti ons, most often punitive. Yet one solution continues to elude us, and that is ending the ignorance about mental health, and moving it from the margins of care and into the mainstream where it belongs. As sure ly as any vaccine, this would save lives. (2) So many have already been lost. This month Kip Kinkel was sentenced to life in prison in Oregon for the murders of his parents and a shooting rampage at his high school that killed two studen ts. A psychiatrist who speciali zes in the care of adolescents testified that Kinkel, now 17, had been hearing voices since he was 12. Sam Manzie is also 17. He is serving a 70-year sentence for luring a n 11- year-old boy named Eddie Werner into his New Jersey home and strangling

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