It was a week before school was about to begin when the school counselor made a trip to my room. She smiled at me and said, " You will have John in your class this year. He was diagnosed suicidal." This is the first time I had a 3rd grader with a mental illness. Many days he was like any typical 3rd grader. Other days he was battling himself, ready to run out the door. I was always afraid he would place harm on himself (thankfully he never did). He, at times would shout, "I'm a bitch! I'm a bitch! I'm going to hell!" When we would talk about it, he would calm down and I would wait for another situation to diffuse. I often wonder about John. I always give him a tight hug, hoping it will give him the encouragement he needs for the day. I also pray that I never have to see his name broadcasted on TV, unless it's celebrating an accomplishment. 

-Third Grade Teacher

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