Days after a Lee’s Summit North high student committed suicide in the school bathroom, students returned for classes and received a note of love.
A group of students wanting to help one another heal after Friday morning’s suicide greeted fellow school mates on Monday with sticky notes that read, “You are loved.”
Many students walked into school Monday dressed in purple, the color representing suicide prevention.
Multicolored sticky notes were handed out to students and posted on lockers throughout the halls of the high school.
“The response to this heartbreaking tragedy from our students and their families has been overwhelming, and we are grateful for these expressions of support, compassion and sympathy,” said a statement posted Monday afternoon on the district website.
Lee’s Summit School District officials in an email to The Star said that North’s administrative leadership would decline to discuss Friday’s shooting or student responses to it “as staff and students go through the healing process,”
Shortly before 8 a.m. Friday the school at 901 N.E. Douglas St. was placed on lock-down after students heard a gunshot on the school’s second floor.
Minutes later 17-year-old Gamesha Thomas was discovered in a second-floor bathroom suffering from a single, self-inflicted gunshot wound. She died at a hospital, Lee’s Summit police said.
Later that day Superintendent Dennis L. Carpenter said, “...my heart—as well as our community’s heart – is breaking... ”
A Monday afternoon message to the school district and the community district officials said that “students and families are receiving resources related to helping young adults cope with grief as well as the warning signs of suicide.”
A moment of silence was held for the student at Saturday’s Lee’s Summit North football game, and the game included a release of purple balloons.
A GoFundMe page set up to help the family of Gemesha Thomas has raised nearly $22,000 since Friday.