THE COLONY, Texas - A 9-year-old boy was found hanged in the bathroom of a Dallas-area elementary school in an apparent suicide, police said yesterday.
Authorities say the fourth-grader was found by staff at Stewart’s Creek Elementary School on Thursday afternoon. Lieutenant Darren Brockway said that the boy “had reportedly hung himself in a bathroom’’ and was pronounced dead at a hospital. Autopsy results are pending.
Police in The Colony, a middle-class lakeside town about 20 miles north of Dallas, are investigating the circumstances of the death but don’t expect any criminal charges. The school district confirmed the death but declined to comment further because of privacy concerns.
A team of grief counselors met people at the school yesterday. They will be available to students, parents, teachers, and staff through next week, said School District spokeswoman Karen Permetti.
At the school, a makeshift memorial announced the cancellation of a PTA meeting. A large stuffed bear with a striped nightcap sat next to two smaller bears and a plastic red firefighter’s cap with a hand-printed note on it.
“You are our superhero,’’ the note read. “We love and miss you dearly.’’
Neighbors were stunned by the news. “It’s terrible,’’ said Roy Adams, sitting on the front porch of his daughter’s house across the street from the school. “People just don’t believe it, a young kid like that.’’
Some parents complained that that they did not learn of the child’s death from the school, but Permetti said the facts were sketchy until late Thursday. The school sent a letter home with students yesterday.
Suicides among young children are rare. There were 33 suicides among children ages 5 to 9 in the United States between 1999 and 2006, according to statistics from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.