Teen's Suicide Stuns Community

Teen's Suicide Stuns Community
Posted by FoM on January 13, 2002 at 10:41:28 PT
Source: Capital Times
A talented junior at Lake Mills High School came home and shot herself to death after being caught at school with a marijuana pipe. "The parents want the community to know what happened and know there are people and counselors they can talk to," Police Chief Kathleen Hansen said Friday."They want teenagers to know they should go for help if they are feeling depressed or feel peer pressure, so something like this does not happen to other families." 
Emily Wedel, 17, was the daughter of Frank and Susan Wedel of Lake Mills. She was one of a set of triplets and also had an older brother.At school, she was active in sports, music and other activities.Hansen said that Wedel died at home Thursday at about 4 p.m. of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head."The family does not know what happened or what pressure she was under. They don't know why she was depressed," the chief said."The cause of the death was not drug-related, but there was an incident earlier in the day that was a shock to the family."She was caught at school with a new marijuana pipe. She had used it and was caught, but there had never been any other incidents like this before."Hansen continued: "She was a very gifted child, very musical, in dance and as a singer. It has been a shock to the community. She sang before games and was an athlete on the basketball team. She was involved in cross country, soccer and other activities."As the news spread through the community Friday evening, parents and students gathered at the high school, where counselors were available.All girls games were canceled for the evening.Byline: Watertown Daily TimesNewshawk: G.F. Storck -- Capital Times, The (WI)Published: January 12, 2002Address: P.O. Box 8060, Madison, WI 53708-8060Copyright: 2002 The Capital Times Contact: tctvoice madison.comWebsite:
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Comment #22 posted by SpiralMix on January 17, 2002 at 11:08:17 PT:
I won't cry for people who kill themselves.
I won't cry for people who kill themselves.
But I must admit that life story is pretty unfortunate.I myself was doing pretty good my first two years in high school but then met Mary Jane. My grades started failing but that wasn't bad.. I was noticing how pathetically corrupt our society is and what crap my teachers were feeding to me, unaware that they were brainwashing me with politically correct material. Hmm... look what drugs do to you.. they make you do bad in school. LOLIn my senior year I went to class smelling like marijuana and had my butt pulled in the principles office. That man was expecting a fragile kid to bully around. You should have seen his eyes, very draconian. I just smiled at him and politely told him everything. Yes sir.. I smoke weed... once or twice every 2-3 days. I smoked before I came to school and plan to smoke when I go home. The man called my house and told that to my mom... I don't know what they were talking about but then he passes the phone to me. My mom was pretty nice, she knows how bullshit that marijuana prohibition is. I was laughing while talking at her in the phone fearlessly. That is when I noticed the principle's hand was shaking and his face was sweaty. Heh. Since nothing was going to be resolved because there wasn't any problem to be resolved... he suspended me for a week and was going to force me to take mandatory counseling, or I would get the boot out of school. I turned 18 in 3 days after that and never went back to school. I can take care of myself thank you very much. That was about 2 years ago, i'm living happily ever after and enjoying my Mary Jane. Do I have a problem? Maybe you do with me... I certainly don't.
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Comment #21 posted by john wayne on January 14, 2002 at 12:50:33 PT
I'm really touched
by what others have written on this thread. There are some caring, loving people out there and we're fortunate to have them posting here.That said, I've gotta come up with my usual "sour" observation: that somehow, most people in her town will eventually settle for some notion like: "see, that's what drugs will do to you" or something similar. (As discussed in the "see that's what happens" posting below.)  That's a very bad outcome, because it will only lead to more tradgedies like this one.  How could that outcome be avoided? Perhaps by printing this thread and sending it to involved parties?  Feeble perhaps, I await any suggestion you might have to offer.
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Comment #20 posted by BGreen on January 14, 2002 at 03:59:39 PT:
No suicide note?
The absence of a suicide note leads me to believe Emily hadn't planned to take her life. It was a new pipe and had been used, so it could've been a fairly new experience for her, and she felt like her life was ruined. Everything she loved in sports and music was going to be taken away.Music is my life, and I know creative and gifted people tend to wear their hearts on their sleeves. This exaggerated sensitivity is why we have such emotional music and art, but it also takes its toll on the artists. Susannah McCorkle, a great singer on the Concord Jazz label with 10 critically acclaimed recordings, killed herself after she was dropped from her label. It was so senseless, because she was so good that she would have gotten another record deal, but for some reason she couldn't take the rejection."Zero tolerance" has been an abysmal failure, just as mandatory minimums, because it imposes draconian punishments regardless of the circumstances, with no exceptions. The trauma inflicted on kids caught up in this mess can lead to extreme distress and desperation, and can lead to a suicide of passion. The stigma of being labeled 'bad' is more than some good kids can take.
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Comment #19 posted by freedom fighter on January 13, 2002 at 23:26:24 PT
The Mirror
I just wondered when would the adults will wake up and take a good look in the mirror. My heart goes out to this young lady and her family. They will have to live with this for rest of their life, as I will with mine. I remembered the day when two guys down at Columbine H.S. started shooting everybody and killed themselves. The sheriff actually stated on an interview that he think that they were on drugs and it turned out he was wrong. I wondered if these two guys planned it that way too. For months to come after the tragedy, the adults keep wondering why teenagers do that. Not once did they question what we the adults have done to children.After all, the children are the mirror of how we the adults conduct ourselves to each other’s. There can be no true Love if we teach our children how to love with Hate or hate with Love. Minorities are like canaries in the mines of the Humankind. We as the Society have empowered the children by teaching them how to Love with Hate or how to hate with Love. It is not possible have Justice, Freedom, Liberty or Love for all when the Society say it is okay to kill a certain canary with false love. A canary is a reflection of the soul of the society. If we treated the canary as a disease, real or imagine with false compassion and death, there will be no such a thing as a civilized Society.I truly hope that I teach my children how to love with LOVE everyday. ff
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Comment #18 posted by QcStrt on January 13, 2002 at 21:40:59 PT
One of your friends son got in trouble in High school he was smoking marijuana and started missing school 4 days, his father is 
sick, it is a liver problem that's passed down from one to the next. they took his mother to court and locked her up for 4 weeks 
for him missing school. and his brother caught him with the gun to his head and got it stooped. and on one every know he 
would do this, there was no signs of this type of thing with this boy. the school put the boy in a retarded class, the kid has an 
3.7 grade avg. when they did this the boy left home and no one has heard from him since. So with this where do we go. Is he 
just out there some where trying to get his head straight I hope, or are we going to find him dead out in the woods some place. 
there some families here and there kids have missed from 3 weeks to 8 weeks and nothing happen to them. So they take just 
one to make an example out of, YA right. What happened to the fighting back instinct? this child thought he had caused enough problems. that if he was gone there be no 
more problems.
Where I live there 7 small towns with about 8500 people. they be rednecks, and there is nothing wrong with them. sorry if I come off wrong this old man don't get his words right all the time. " PEACE " 
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Comment #17 posted by 420toker on January 13, 2002 at 21:21:52 PT
people say the darndest things esp. in Texas
I was born and raised in Texas,and people seem to love to tell people, "well thats what you get" and they do frequently, serial killer killing hookers in Houston ,"well thats what you get". Girl kills herself cause of DRUGS (the stigma, not drugs but people here don't know any better) ,"well that what you get". Its like , if what you do is illegle noone cares about you anymore. it's a very common around here, except of course in Austin.
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Comment #16 posted by E_Johnson on January 13, 2002 at 19:54:54 PT
QcStrt We all do what we can do
Prohibitionist at the school told her she was OUT of all school's ACTIVATES and just lost all her SCHOLASTIC STANDINGS with the school and collage's. so what else is this person to do.This is awful but there are ways to fight back. Like we're doing right here. Most kids don't shoot themselves when confronted with this nonsense, a lot of kids today have learned to fight back. Partly by going to the Internet. Look at the Prince Harry debate on Yahoo! for example.So I have to wonder why did she not fight back? What happend to the fighting back instinct?Besides, from what I have read, typically suicides don't happen so quickly, most people who kill themselves go through a period of thinking about it and even pretending to do it, before they work up to the actual act.Maybe something else was pushing her to the limit, and marijuana was her only coping mechanism, and when that was taken away from her...That's what people don't think about. Take away the pot and what else can you have go wrong with someone who needs some kind of medication? Anorexia, self mutilation and suicidal thinking are just some of the manifestations of teen mental illness that can harm and kill teenagers who are drug free.Think of all the perfect little drug free girls on feeding tubes in eating disorder clinics for example. It's very sad. And who is willing to fight a war on their behalf?Maybe the marijuana reform movement needs to confont this problem more directly. I think that teen mental health problems have been exploited as a Drug War fundraising narrative for far too long now.
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Comment #15 posted by Sam Adams on January 13, 2002 at 15:26:22 PT
Teen suicide sucks
One of the very sad things about American society is a very high rate of teen suicide. I don't have the hard facts, but I did see a recent article pointing out that teen suicide has increased in the U.S. by something like 5 times in the last 30 years! No bullshit or exaggeration, I was shocked - shocked that I'd never heard of it before.I think this is a "red flag" of deep, profound cultural sickness and failing of modern-day life. No doubt more kids kill themselves each year than people died in the WTC. How can we consider ourselves, our whole society, as successful in any way when the young people die rather than enter adult life? I have so many thoughts on this it's impossible to even delve into them here. But the main observation I make is that in the U.S., we try to enforce the morals we wish we had on our kids. And we think the best ways to instill good values and attitude in our kids is through CONTROL and PUNISHMENT. Look at alcohol policy vs. Europe. I remember in my high school in the mid-80's the school band was on a bus trip and several of the kids were caught with some booze they had smuggled into the bus, a bunch of them got good and drunk on the way home from a trip.It was the biggest news event of the year in my town - it was the lead headline of the weekly paper for about a month. Several of the boys were arrested and prosecuted for giving alcohol to minors, 2 or 3 were expelled, about 25-30 kids were suspended for 2 weeks, all kicked off the marching band.These were all "kids" who, 100 years earlier, would have been considered old enough to start careers, get married, support a family, etc. How can treating ever kid like an aspiring criminal possibly prepare them for independent, adult life?  I was very disturbed by this as a teen. I remember when I entered high school, it used to be a tradition in June when it got warm for senior & junior to cut class and go across the road from the school, and spend the afternoon drinking a few beers and swimming in a lake.They brought in a new principal who was a Nazi control freak. We used to have open campus, those with cars could come and go whenever. They posted a security guard at both driveways to the school, and to get out you needed a special pass from the administration. They also posted guards ("Monitors") at all stairways, you couldn't even leave the top two floors of the school during the day without a pass! I kid you not, it was unbelievable. This was all in an affluent suburban high school, where about 95% of the kids went on to college.I didn't use cannabis at all in those days, but I remember being really disturbed by all this. Americans are so accustomed to being controlled by law enforcement and rules, they don't bat an eye at having freedom taken away. Especially with young people. People get so worked up about the kids, don't send the wrong message, etc, etc. Well, kids are PEOPLE. Just a little younger than you - they are just as smart as adults, intelligent, self-determined beings, not slaves or obedient dogs.And the reaction is so easy to predict - rebellion. I remember European exchange students just laughing at the way we did binge drinking - they'd look at one of us passed out or puking and just be like, "what the hell are you doing"?  They'd all learned to drink responsibly growing up, since they drank with their families from age 12 on. No surprise that our kids smoke more pot that any European country, twice the rate of Holland where its legal.oh well I could go and on, why can't we just respect young people and try to build them up, instead of smacking them with a rolled up newspaper?
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Comment #14 posted by QcStrt on January 13, 2002 at 15:24:12 PT
prohibitionist at school
Prohibitionist at the school told her she was OUT of all school's ACTIVATES and just lost all her SCHOLASTIC STANDINGS with the school and collage's.
so what else is this person to do. this is how them prohibitionist work.
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Comment #13 posted by CorvallisEric on January 13, 2002 at 14:57:43 PT
We get mad when the prohibitionists blur the facts and go off on a crusade because it makes them feel right. We shouldn't give into the same feelings without real proof.
I enormously admire your appreciation of reality, intelligence, humor, and common sense and just need to thank you for bringing them to us.
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Comment #12 posted by The GCW on January 13, 2002 at 14:57:16 PT
quote: A society should not make life any harder by throwing up artificial obstacles. Below is how the Bible puts it.Matthew 18:7
"Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks! For it is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes!Luke 17:1
He said to His disciples, "It is inevitable that stumbling blocks come, but woe to him through whom they come!firedog, your memorial idea is Godawesome. 
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Comment #11 posted by goneposthole on January 13, 2002 at 14:55:35 PT
If marijuana were legal, there would be no stigma to pin on those who choose to partake.Prohibition is inhumane. Maybe PETA should be involved. The ethical treatment of humans supercedes all.
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Comment #10 posted by firedog on January 13, 2002 at 14:54:21 PT
An idea...
How about a Museum of Prohibition?Going back as far as possible, with special focuses on Alcohol Prohibition and the Drug War. With an emphasis on the social costs of prohibitionist policies.Maybe George Soros would be willing to finance it...
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Comment #9 posted by firedog on January 13, 2002 at 14:46:45 PT
What a tragedy
I am very sad when I read a story like this. When I was in high school and college, I knew quite a few people who tried to commit suicide, and a few of them succeeded. There's not much that makes me sadder than when a young person has been so beaten down by the world that they feel like there is no reason to go on living.In some ways I agree with E_Johnson, in that we really don't know all the surrounding circumstances. This could well have been the final straw that broke the camel's back.But life is hard enough as a teenager. A society should not make life any harder by throwing up artificial obstacles that have no business being there in the first place.And the draconian pot laws do just that. They ruin lives and destroy dreams. They were built on the foundation of racism, fear, and hysteria, by a fascist named Anslinger who had no qualms about destroying others in order to build his little empire. These laws are in the same category as apartheid, segregation, and other abominations.Someday, in Washington, D.C., there will be a Drug War Memorial next to the Vietnam War Memorial. And Emily Wedel's name will be on it.
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Comment #8 posted by The GCW on January 13, 2002 at 14:38:01 PT
Some parents build up such propaganda that if a young mind listens to it all, cannabis will cause health problems; bad school performance; jail; evil; addiction; worthlessness; unacceptablness; it's sinfull, and will receive scorge in the home. It is built up as something that is so devistating that when someone actually tries cannabis, there is some sence that it's all over. It is all down the drain. The parents that reek of this prohibition propaganda may be guilty of instilling guilt in a disproportionate unrealistic scale. I was all on my own to come to the realization that using cannabis, does not make me a bad person. When I found out that Christ God loves people that use cannabis, I was greatly relieved. I feel bad for kids with parents telling them that it is a sin to ever accept cannabis, for that misguided guilt goes to the soul.There are many different scinarios, and if this one does not fit the present situation, it still fits the existing present problems at some capacity.The guilt trip....
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on January 13, 2002 at 13:51:50 PT
My Opinion
When a young person kills themselves it is terrible. I don't believe that getting caught with a marijuana pipe caused her to take her own life. It was the straw that broke the camels back though.
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Comment #6 posted by E_Johnson on January 13, 2002 at 13:32:19 PT
You really don't know
It's not good to go off all emotional and blame this on prohibition when we really do not know what was happening in her life or her family.We get mad when the prohibitionists blur the facts and go off on a crusade because it makes them feel right. We shouldn't give into the same feelings without real proof.I came from an abusive family and I really do not like it when the family gets freed from any scrutiny because there was something else conveniently nearby to take the blame like drugs or like drug prohibition.Part of the War on Drugs is about avoiding putting scrutiny on parents. There has been much research including very recently that showed that child sexual abuse leads to teen and adult drug abuse. And here we have thousands upon thousands of utterly INNOCENT and SHOCKED parents claiming that it was the heroin that killed their child.Not them.That's part of why there is a War on Drugs, because parents are never going to finance a war against each other.Maybe it was prohibition that killed this girl. But then maybe she was smoking pot in the first place because she was being abused, and she was self-medicating for abuse trauma, and maybe if she had been put into drug treatment, maybe she might have confided in a counselor and maybe the perp would have been NAILED and sent to jail himself.There are all kinds of things that could be going on here that we don't know about.There isn't enough information here to tell her story.
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Comment #5 posted by Elfman_420 on January 13, 2002 at 13:31:23 PT
the longbeach story..
This sounds just like the story about my friend's friend in Long Beach who shot himself after being arrested for having a small amount of marijuana.What probably happened was when she got caught, they told her that no good college would want her anymore, and she wouldn't be able to get federal financial aid, she ruined her life, etc..This is very upsetting for many kids who work so hard in high school.. colleges are just so competetive to get into these days and it becomes their entire life goal to get into a good college. They want to relax a little on the weekend, and multi-keg parties just don't seem very attractive to this type of student. Many of them turn to smoking with their intellectual college-bound friends. When one of them gets caught, it can be an obstacle to getting into a good college, but to deter the student from continuing to use the marijuana, they tell them it is absolutely devistating to their college career.I'm surprised this type of thing didn't happen more often in the past, but it looks like it's starting to happen more often. Hopefully people will learn the right lessons from it.
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Comment #4 posted by goneposthole on January 13, 2002 at 13:18:10 PT
Anti-drug propaganda fuels prohibition with deadly results.The waste is appalling. We are being ruled by fools. What else can be expected from these crackpots? A meddlesome few devoid of a conscience, they are contranaturum and criminal. I blame all prohibitionists for this senseless death. Their cravings to have substances banned is the worst crime of all. They are addicted to prohibition. Shame on them, they need to be taught a lesson. The truth of the matter is: They lie.
If I in someway could end this worthless prohibition, I would.
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Comment #3 posted by E_Johnson on January 13, 2002 at 12:42:06 PT
We don't know what was happening in her family
We don't know what else was going on in her family. Nobody ever comes out and admits to anything bad in their family, and when things like this happen, they lie even more.Nothing is ever really a shock to the family. Whenever anyone says they were shocked and it came from out of the blue, it's a lie.What if she was being sexually abused and the whole marijuana pipe thing is a big red herring? Do we know that isn't the case?
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Comment #2 posted by aocp on January 13, 2002 at 12:32:05 PT
No, but
"The cause of the death was not drug-related, but there was an incident earlier in the day that was a shock to the family.The family and all the antis will continue to blame this tragedy on cannabis while squirming away from the uncomfortable feeling that the prohibition setting of law that we live under is supported by their complacency and therefore they (as we all must, as tax-paying citizens) shoulder some of the responsibility for this. Cannabis will take all the blame because it is peaceful and therefore an easy target for lazy-ass amerikans. Don't think too hard about anything b/c you might miss your tv show. I'd watch out if i ran a headshop in WI. The mob is going to stop grieving eventually...
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Comment #1 posted by Rainbow on January 13, 2002 at 10:57:17 PT
A retort
I mentioned this to a real good friend and the comment was she should have known about the consequences.Well yes but the stigma of pot is way more than the stigma of cigarettes or alcohol. We should all recognise the consequences of our actions but that does not mean it is right to have such powerful consequences.Anybody else run into this type of resistance is complacency? Rainbow
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