BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – The stunning announcement late Monday night that a Fort Madison Middle School student tried to commit suicide has left one local woman saying enough is enough.
Lisa Martinez, a friend of the family of the student, said she wanted to have a gathering at Ivanhoe Park’s shelter house at 5 p.m. on Thursday.
“There’s just so much bullying going on out there. Kids just need to know that there are people out here they can talk to,” Martinez said. “We as a community, not just here but everywhere, we have to let these kids know that there are people here that will help them.
Fort Madison Superintendent Erin Slater sent an email blast to all parents of students at Fort Madison Middle School informing them of the suicide attempt and informing parents that the district places students’ safety as their highest priority.
Martinez said she would like to arrange a march in the city as well to help bring awareness to the problem and let people see that there is support for these students.
She said the walk won’t take place on Thursday but she wants to get people together to share ideas and maybe come up with a plan to help address the issue. Some ideas she had were possibly having volunteers staff the school yard after school. People that could pass a background check or something that would increase the presence for students after school is out.
“I’m so passionate about it. I work at a domestic violence center and my passion is to help people. I’ve worked with the schools and if there’s anything I can do to make a difference even in one person’s life, it is the greatest high in the world.”