Students Honored for Saving Classmate's Life
By Jon Jordan, NEWS 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Two students are being hailed as heroes for saving the life of a classmate trying to commit suicide. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people in Oklahoma, and it's a problem that doesn't appear to be getting better.
Sheriff John Whetsel honored 10-year-old Mohammad Khan and 17-year-old Corbin Simonsen with the Character Award after they prevented another student from hanging himself in a bathroom stall inside Deer Creek High School.
"I couldn't believe what I was seeing at first. I didn't know what was happening. Got kind of confused there for a sec," said fifth-grader Mohammad Khan.
Khan said as soon as he saw the student attempting to hang himself in the bathroom, he rushed to get help, and that's when he ran into Simonsen, who was eventually able to get the noose off the student's neck.
"Not really something you want to see or expect to see," said Corbin Simonsen, Deer Creek High School junior.
But unfortunately the horror the two students saw that day isn't uncommon.
"Suicide continues to be one of the leading causes of teenage death in the U.S.," said Jennifer Dell, Children's Recovery Center.
Dell is a counselor with Children's Recovery Center in Norman. She said unfortunately too often, younger adults see suicide as a way of escaping their problems.
"I don't see the problem getting better. The stress of being a teenager, the pressure and confusion that goes on during that time period," Dell said.
Dell said it is important for everyone, including school officials and parents, to not pretend suicide isn't a problem.
"Bring it out in the open. Suicide can be so taboo, and people don't want to talk about it, but talking about it is what needs to happen for it to be prevented," Dell said.
Studies show more than half of students who commit suicide are often times found to have abused things such as alcohol and drugs.