Rapid City school leaders to discuss student deaths

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN TV) - Black Hills community members may be aware that many Rapid City Area Schools students and staff have had a sad start to their school year. Since the middle of July, eight RCAS students and one staff member have died. Three of those deaths were suicides.

“Suicide is a topic that many would rather not discuss, but we must address it. There are so many students who are hurting right now,” Superintendent Dr. Lori Simon said. “Suicide does more than end one life – it creates a ripple effect throughout a community, as surviving family members and friends experience a range of grief and emotions,” she continued.

Wednesday from 6 to 7 p.m. at the City, School Administration Building in the Council Chambers, the Rapid City Area Schools will host a meeting for parents and others in the community to provide information about common reactions following a suicide, and how adults can help youth cope.

Mental health experts and law enforcement officers in our community will also provide information about suicide and mental illness in adolescents, including risk factors and warning signs of suicide, and will address attendees’ questions and concerns.