An open letter to parents and students in the Princeton Independent School District from superintendent Philip Anthony:

Princeton ISD has experienced two recent losses to our community, and we want you to know we are seriously concerned about the well-being of our students. In light of these recent events, it is important for everyone to come together to address how we can best help our children.

We understand it is recommended you monitor your child's social media outlets, however, we ask that parents avoid using non-district social media sites as their source of accurate information.

Princeton High School is currently organizing an informational parent night. Please watch for details of this session. When a date and time are set, we will email the details, as well as post it on our district website and district Facebook and Twitter feeds.

In the meantime, don't take lightly any indicators of your child's risk of suicide and assume it won't happen to your family or friends.

Princeton ISD has trained staff always willing to help, so please do not hesitate to call school officials. However, we understand tragedy can strike at any time. Because of this, we are publishing the national suicide hotline, 1-800-784-2433 (1-800-SUICIDE) for your information. In addition, an online resource is available, crisischat.org.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide continues to be the third leading cause of death among teenagers. This is a serious risk that cannot be ignored.

As a parent, there are several ways you can help, especially when it comes to recognizing warning signs. These include:

•  Presence of a psychiatric disorder, particularly depression

•  Thoughts or talk about suicide or dying, especially after an exposure to a death by suicide

•  Changes in behavior, including acting out or withdrawal from friends, family and activities

•  Impulsive and high-risk behaviors, including reckless driving and increased alcohol or substance abuse

•  Talk of a foreshortened future, such as not being around for future events

There are additional factors to consider, which increase the risk of death by suicide, including:

•  Access to firearms

•  Significant family instability

•  Recent severe stress perceived by the individual, which may include the end of a romantic relationship, economic distress or increased bullying or alienation.

As parents deal with tragedy and offer support to their grieving children at home, the following websites might be helpful:

Parent Trauma Resource Center: tlcinstitute.org/PTRC.html

National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement: cincinnatichildrens.org/school-crisis. Click here for information to download the parent guide.

Philip Anthony

Superintendent

For more information, visit the Princeton ISD site at princetonisd.net.