5 December 2011
Comm Arts 100
Rising Up in a Time of Mourning
Imagine the peacefulness of a small, quiet community in the northwestern suburbs
of Los Angeles.
Day to day, not much happens in my hometown of Agoura Hills,
California, certainly nothing exciting.
Only 20,000 people live there.
teenagers attend the local high school.
Every so often there’s a backyard encounter with
a coyote or a rattlesnake, which dominates the headlines of the local newspaper.
However, this tranquil village was recently rocked by consecutive, horrific,
unexplainable teenage deaths.
Two weeks ago, within a five-day period, three boys,
Josh, Dan, and Griffin, all independently took their own lives in sensational
Agoura Hills responded to these devastating teenage suicides in a manner
that would make the rest of our country proud.
The grief was too overwhelming for
many, emotions of pain, sorrow, and disbelief filled the air.
The city, led primarily by
Agoura High School Principal Larry Misel, reacted to the adversity with genuine support,
free of any judgment, and reminded us to cherish life.
Just as the whole United States bonded after the historic 9/11 attacks, the city of
Agoura came together a few weeks ago.
In this tightly-knit community, every single
resident was somehow affected by at least one of the three deaths.
Everyone, young and
old, felt the pain, be it as a friend, a relative, or by witnessing those close by suffering
from the grief.
Despite having few explanations for the series suicides by these young