Another school reports student self-mutilation
by Nick Delgado
Guam - The Department of Education is finding out that more of its students are involved in self-mutilation. The dangerous trend has been reported at another school.
A day after DOE revealed that twenty 5th graders from Upi Elementary School were involved in self-mutilation; DOE officials learn of seven other cases this time reported at D.L. Perez Elementary School. The students are using blades from pencil sharpeners to cut themselves.
Jesse Muna has two sisters who attend go to the Yigo campus and told KUAM News, "That's terrible where are they even getting this from, its really the parents responsibility to sit down with their child and talk to them and see what's causing them to harm themselves, is this a new trend."
The trend is obvious, according to Department of Mental Health psychiatric social work supervisor Nadine Cepeda. She said, "Oftentimes it may be problems at the school or at home or it could be other things and there are a lot of factors to consider."
She says the agency is actively working the cases at both schools, noting, "We made a recommendation for guidance counselors to do an assembly and go through since its elementary grades that they should get together and talk about peer pressure, being bullied and so forth."
Cepeda also pleads with parents to build a strong bond with their student. While school officials at this Yigo campus are not saying too much about what happened in this most recent case, one Lagu District board member, Joe San Agustin, is looking into the situation hoping that intervention from both Mental Health and Public Health are working to prevent these kids from further harming themselves. "The teachers need to be more mindful and watchful for possible signs and constantly check the students and where there pencil sharpeners are," he said.
Meantime, DOE management continues to monitor the problem.