Brooksville community mourns after 12-year-old boy's suicide
BROOKSVILLE - Students at West Hernando Middle School are grieving after learning of the apparent suicide of a 12-year-old student at his home Wednesday morning, school and police officials say. Superintendent of Schools Bryan Blavatt said the student did not attend school Wednesday, and that he received notice of the boy's death from a parent and the Hernando County Sheriff's Office Wednesday night. Thursday, district officials met to arrange for counseling for grieving students. "Soon as we got notification we had our care team of psychologists and staff support at work with the children at the school," Blavatt said. "They've been there all day and will continue to be there." Hernando Today has a policy of not releasing the names of suicide victims. The incident remains under investigation, Blavatt said."Our main concern now is the well-being of that family," Blavatt said. "It's a terrible, terrible thing, it really is. And regrettably when something like this happens, you ask this question of, 'How can it happen?' And the Sheriff's Office is looking into that, and we are as well, but there's nothing at first blush that seems out of the ordinary about this young man." Lieutenant Mike Burzumato, who oversees school resource officers as part of his sheriff's office duties, said that just last week a former wrestler-turned-motivational speaker, Marc Mero, was at the boy's school speaking about bullying and suicide prevention. Mero posted on his public Facebook page Thursday he woke up with a "broken heart." "Kids who are hurting need to know they have to reach out and talk to someone," Burzumato said, adding he wants young people to know to "just hold on, things will always get better." Calling children a parent's most "precious resource," Burzumato said parents need to take an active approach to parenting, taking time to know what a child is doing both online and in the real world. "Be a little more nosy … take an interest in what your kid is doing," Burzumato suggested. "Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem," Burzumato said. "No matter what, things will get better."