A 10-year-old boy and three high school students that all attended different schools in Rancho Cucamonga have committed suicide since school started according to the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department.
“None of these students attended the same schools,” said San Bernardino Sheriff Department Public Information Officer Cindy Bachman. “And there’s no indication that these students even knew each other.”
Parents in Rancho Cucamonga were shocked at the news.
“I don’t know what else, what they can do about it,” said one Alta Loma mom. “They’ve talked to parents, they’ve talked to the kids and it keeps happening. And it’s so sad. I don’t know. I don’t know.”
Several parents blamed bullying.
“I ask my son if he’s ever bullied and he seems to get upset,” one mom said. “They don’t want to open up about it.”
Another Alta Loma High School father blamed a lack of communication in the family.
The parents, they don’t pay attention to their kids,” he said. “Families when they go into the house and they’re all together they don’t talk to each other because everybody’s on the phone.”
Many parents said it is a struggle trying to talk to their kids about bullying, suicides or any other problem.
“Every time I get a call from the school about a death I ask my son, well what happened,” another Alta Loma mom said. “And he said ‘suicide’ … like nothing.”
“So I try to talk to him but it’s like I’m interrupting him,” she said. “We both get the eye-rolls.”
The students had attended Rancho Cucamonga High, Etiwanda High, and Alta Loma High which are in the Chaffey Joint Union High School district.
“There is no greater tragedy than the death of a young person,” said Mathew Holton, Chaffey Joint Union High School Superintendent in an email to KFI News. A crisis team of trained therapists at each of the four schools has been sent to help students and staff members navigate through their grief.
Holton encouraged parents to talk to their kids about these issues candidly.
The fourth student attended Victoria Groves Elementary School.
“The Alta Loma School District is deeply saddened at the loss of one of our students,” said Alta Loma School District Superintendent James Moore in an email to KFI News.
“The district has rallied around the family, students and staff to provide support and resources during this difficult time. We will continue to provide multi-tiered systems of support for all of our students throughout the year.”
If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or considering suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Update: A previous version of the story originally said an 11-year-old boy was among those who have taken their own life. The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department issued a correction Thursday afternoon to the correct age, saying they were given inaccurate information.