This week proved rather gruesome for teachers and students alike. In Illinois, Linda Walker (shown here) decided not only to hang herself but to do it in her kindergarten class. In France, a high school math teacher set herself on fire in the playground during the recreation period full of children.
The 44-year-old teacher in France is expected to survive after pupils and fellow teachers put out the flames. She is described as depressed and only the day before had had an argument with children in her class over what they viewed as her too strict manner at the Jean Moulin secondary school in Beziers in southern France.
For her part, Linda Elaine Walker, 45, succeeded in killing herself. She was hanging inside her classroom at Tri-C Elementary School in Carterville, Illinois. The students were already coping with the loss of one of their most popular teachers to cancer in that same week.
Walker had been a teacher for 17 years, and hanged herself the same day as funeral services for Lynn Byrnes.
The decision of these two teachers to kill themselves at school is horrific for any educator. Our classrooms are viewed as special, if not sacred places, where students are protected from threats and violence. As discussed in this column, teachers have died protecting this special place. For that reason, there is a collective shudder from educators to read about not one but two such stories in the same week. Of course, these teachers were obviously coping with severe depression and such values and perspective can be lost in the fog of such mental illness.
In both schools, children are being given counseling by officials.
Source: Daily Mail