Friday, November 16, 2012

Former Poland Star - Apparent Suicide

As a teacher, I experienced suicides throughout my thirty one years of teaching. All were tough on me, and three were really hard, because I knew them really well. Had them in class and coached one. Also had a boy whom I had coached at Lakota and was a really good person. He died when he was twenty-one.

Read in the Youngstown paper last night that former Poland football standout, Darius Patton died from an apparent suicide early Thursday morning. Sources said Patton may have hanged himself because of a break-up. The reason is really irrelevant to me.

Darius Patton played his last two years of high school football at Poland High School. I considered him one of the better wide receivers in the Ohio Class of 2011. Talked with him three different times and liked his attitude. Competitive and focused.

Pitt scholarshiped him, but he was hospitalized during football season his freshman year. According to the newspaper, he was not on the Pitt roster this fall.

Suicide is a very sad time for me. Hard to explain. I always worry what must have driven a young person, or older person for that matter, to the point that life was no longer worth living. What sruggles must they have had? Although I never contemplated taking my life, I know when my wife battled and lost to cancer, how tough it was. We cannot read a person's mind, to understand all of the emotions that they are experiencing.

Counselors have expertise in this area, but I remember one, years ago, whom I took issue with. She told the students all of the negative about a young seventh grader taking his on life. She told me that in no way did she want Ryan to be the good guy. She wanted the junior high students to love him, but be really upset at him for taking his own life. Part of the problem for me was not what she said, but how she said it. I did not agree with her approach then, and eighteen years later, still do not.

I do not know the issues that Darius had, nor do I need to know. I read where is dad is scheduled to be sentenced for drug related offenses on November 27. I do not know  Darius's life style. The paper mentioned a break-up.  Really I know nothing about him after he was graduated from Poland High School in 2011.

I do know that a young 19 year old took his life. Because of his football talent, I was able to talk with him on three occasions. But it does not matter whether he played football or not. I have saddness for what he must have gone through in his life for him to take his own life. Finally, I have saddness that we do not have enough faith to carry us through every situation.

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