Finding a value in times of need

The circumstances bringing us together are more important than those that set us apart

By Beatrice Kahn

What defines Beaverton High School’s core values? The accomplishments of our students? The events that occur within our school? 

Beaverton’s core values—tradition, learning, excellence, and community—remain constant during times of change. Now, more than ever, the circumstances bringing us together are more important than those setting us apart. 

On Friday, October 11, families were notified of Caleb Sanseri’s suicide, and the following Monday, teachers read students a statement written by Dr. Erwin. The loss of Caleb directly affected students—including me.

Along with many other sophomores at Beaverton, I attended first grade at West Tualatin View Elementary School with Caleb. Caleb’s suicide inspired new, overwhelming emotions that students might not know how to express. But if we can take away one lesson from this tragedy, it is to seek help from trusted adults inside and outside our school. The beautiful aspect of our community is the willingness of adults within it to help students by whatever means possible. We can do more than keep Caleb in our thoughts—we can encourage students to seek help. And as a community, we can transform these ideas into actions.

In addition, joking and insincere statements about suicide have no place in our community. Suicide is a serious matter, and speaking of it in this fashion is outright disrespectful. Making fun of students at Beaverton for any reason only separates us from one another. No matter their grade or position in school, whether through clubs, sports, or academics, each Beaverton student enhances the community. If you cannot be involved, at the very least, please connect with an adult here. As Dr. Erwin wrote in Monday’s announcement, “suicide should not be an option”. If you need help—for any reason—our community is here for you. 

Community is more than a core value at Beaverton. It is a strength we must support.

Additional resources:

Mental Health Crisis Line: 503-291-9111

SafeOregon: 844-472-3367

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