RANCHO CORDOVA (CBS13) — A campus-wide call to action at Cordova High School to stop bullying is all being done in honor of a sophomore who took her own life.
Suicide is now the second leading cause of death for 15-to-24 year-olds, according to the CDC.
“Most of us are still grieving and can’t accept the fact that she’s gone,” said Amberlynn Holmes.
Hearts are on a long journey toward healing at Cordova High after 15-year-old sophomore Skye Long took her own life.
“She seemed like she was very strong on the outside but obviously she was dealing with something way, way deeper,” Skye’s mother Rachel Long said.
That deep-rooted pain was the result of cyber-bullying, according to her mom Rachel and her tight group of friends.
“It has to stop. And I know my friend Skye who is watching me… would agree with me,” said junior Kathryn Masters.
“We’re trying to keep bullying from happening so that way we don’t lose another life, you know?” Holmes said.
“She never let us down. And I just can’t believe that people led her to the point where she didn’t want to be here anymore,” Bella Diaz said.
Classmates of the ambitious, music-loving free spirit honored her and vowed to combat bullying in a special ceremony on campus where counselors were on hand to help students navigate through the loss.
“Emotions are still raw. Anytime you have a loss of this magnitude on campus… it hits everybody differently. We want to make sure everybody has the resources they need to cope,” Folsom Cordova District spokesperson Daniel Thigpen said.
Coping now means belonging to a club no parent wants to be a part of, but one where this grieving mom has found a new mission: bringing awareness and deeper dialogue about suicide.
“I want to encourage parents to be in their kids’ business and to be checking on them,” Long said. “I know that it seems like there is no hope but there is…as long as you’re here.”
September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. If you need help or know someone who does, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). You can call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.