FILE-A teacher helps a student in a math class at a school in Huntington Beach, CA. Paul Bersebach/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images) SAN FRANCISCO - As Benito Luna-Herrera teaches his 7th grade social studies classes, he is on alert for signs of inner turmoil.
And there is so much of it these days.One of his 12-year-old students felt her world was falling apart. Distance learning had upended her friendships.
Things with her boyfriend were verging on violent. Her home life was stressful. "I’m just done with it," the girl told Luna-Herrera during the pandemic, and shared a detailed plan to kill herself.Another student was typically a big jokester and full of confidence.
But one day she told him she didn’t want to live anymore. She, too, had a plan in place to end her life.Luna-Herrera is just one teacher, in one Southern California middle school, but stories of students in distress are increasingly common around the country.