Jordan Halmich, 16; Destiny Pearson, 16 and Donna Cooley, 15 all from the same highschool committed suicide
Three teenagers from different social circles at a Missouri high school have killed themselves in the past two months. Sixteen-year-olds Jordan Halmich and Destiny Pearson and 15-year-old Donna Cooley, students at St. Clair High School in St. Clair, Missouri, have all committed suicide over the past seven weeks. Halmich killed himself on September 28. Cooley hung herself five weeks later, and Pearson committed suicide on Monday.
School officials held an emergency meeting Tuesday following Pearson’s death to determine how to stop the wave of suicides that have rocked the high school and the small town of 4,400 Missourians. Superintendent Dr. Michael Murphy told KSDK-TV, “I’m hearing anxiety, concern, frustration, all of the above, and rightfully so. Could this have been prevented?”
Murphy also said suicide prevention experts and additional counselors and clergy are available to help trouble students. He said the staff is concerned emotionally vulnerable students may consider copying the three deceased teens. “At this time the district is working with every available resource in the region to help the school community cope with this crisis,” Murphy said. He said all three victims were going through “very different circumstances in their lives.”
There have been accusations of bullying surrounding all three suicides, and words written on Cooley’s mirror suggested that she had been tormented by fellow students. Franklin County Sheriff Gary Toelke said, “She was upset about a number of things at home and school.” Investigators said there was no evidence that Halmich was bullied.
A Facebook page created for Pearson said she often defended other students who were getting bullied. “I have also known Destiny to stand up for others against bullies!!” Samantha Smith wrote. “She took up for a lot of her peers. And she stood up for them many of times… She had a great heart and will be missed my many!”
Similar pages were also set up for Halmich — whose birthday was November 6 — and Cooley.
Jordan Lee Halmich Obit:
Jordan Lee Halmich of St. Clair, MO, departed this life in St. Clair on September 28, 2012, having reached the age of sixteen years, ten months and twenty-two days. Jordan was born in Washington, MO on November 6, 1995, son of Kory Lee Halmich and Carrissa Ann Halmich nee Stulce.
Jordan is survived by his parents, Kory and Carrissa Halmich of St. Clair; by two brothers, Austin Halmich and girlfriend, Ginny Young, of St. Clair and Kody Halmich of St. Clair; by his grandparents, Cheryl Stulce and fiancé, Jack Osborn, of Lonedell, MO, Dennis Halmich and wife, Bobbie, of Lonedell, MO and Sharon Wilson and husband, Roy, of St. Clair; by his great-grandmother, Grace Bailey of St. Clair; by one nephew, Jackson Gary Frank Halmich of St. Clair; by aunts, uncles, great-aunts and uncles, cousins, other relatives and many friends.
Jordan was preceded in death by his grandfather, Gary Frank Stulce; and by one infant brother.
Jordan was a Christian, believing in the Lord as his Savior and in past years, had enjoyed visiting the youth group at Victory Church in St. Clair. He was currently a Junior at St. Clair High School, where he had many friends. He enjoyed going to the park in St. Clair and playing basketball with friends. Jordan loved the outdoors and fishing and hunting, especially with his brothers, was his favorite pastime. Listening to rap music and visiting and talking with his many friends.
A kind and loving son, brother, grandson, great-grandson, uncle, nephew, great-nephew, cousin and friend, he will be sadly missed and lovingly remembered by all who knew and loved him.
Funeral services were held at 10:00 AM on Wednesday, October 3, 2012 at Russell Colonial Funeral Home in St. Clair with Pastor Jason Gaszak officiating. Interment was in Crestview Memorial Park, St. Clair, MO. Memorials may be made to the family.
A high school community is struggling to stop a startling trend after three students have committed suicide over the past seven weeks. The deaths of Jordan Halmich, a 16-year-old junior on September 28, Donna Cooley, 15, who hung herself five weeks later, and Destiny Pearson, 16, on Monday night, have rocked St. Clair High School in St. Clair, Missouri, and has everyone asking what has gone wrong in the small town.
School officials were forced to hold an emergency meeting on Tuesday following Destiny's death to determine how to stop the wave of tragedies, reported KSDK.com.
Superintendent Dr. Michael Murphy said suicide prevention experts and additional counselors and clergy are now on hand in St. Clair schools to help troubled students, as staff are concerned that those who are emotionally vulnerable may consider copycat acts.
"At this time the district is working with every available resource in the region to help the school community cope with this crisis," said Murphy, who explained that each one of the three victims was going through "very different circumstances in their lives." The high school had already planned a school presentation with CHADS to help cope with the first two suicides before Destiny died. "Now it takes on even greater significance."
Accusations of bullying have swirled around all of the suicides, and words scrawled on Cooley's mirror after her hanging suggest that she was tormented by fellow school friends. "She was upset about a number of things at home and school," said Franklin County Sheriff Gary Toelke. However, investigators say that after numerous interviews with family and friends there is no evidence that victim number one, Halmich, was bullied. A Facebook page created in memorial for Pearson includes comments from classmates claiming that she often defended other pupils who were getting picked on.
"I have also known Destiny to stand up for others against bullies!!" Samantha Smith wrote. "She took up for a lot of her peers. And she stood up for them many of times."
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