Pearland Dawson High School student survives suicide attempt, police say

PEARLAND – Pearland police said it was the quick thinking of some teachers at Glenda Dawson High School that prevented a student's suicide attempt from becoming a tragedy.

A student showed up a little earlier than normal Thursday, just before 6:30 a.m., but it wasn't because he wanted to get ahead on his school work, police said.

A teacher happened to be using the stairs near the third floor when she noticed the student hanging from a rope in the stairwell.

Police said she called for help, two male coaches nearby ran over and the trio lifted the student up and freed him from the rope.

"I mean had it been a mere seconds later, there's no telling, what could have happened," said Jason Wells, with Pearland police.

The teachers performed CPR until paramedics arrived and the student was eventually airlifted via LifeLight to Memorial Hermann Hospital. Police said he was alive when he arrived but nothing has been released in terms of his current status.

This isn't the first time the Pearland Independent School District has dealt with the issue of suicide. Five students have committed suicide during the last two years.

In May, Pearland ISD held its first mental health and suicide prevention event for students called, "I Will Ask."

Thursday's suicide attempt shook up parents and students.

"We went to school thinking it was going to be a normal day, and then we heard that," one student said. "It's just sad."

"The atmosphere inside there -- you can tell the staff is trying to keep everyone upbeat but the students are really feeling it today,” said Christina Hernandez, the parent of a Dawson High School student.

Reginald Mitchell, whose daughter also goes to Dawson, said he hasn't yet spoken to her about the incident, but definitely will.

He said he would "make sure she understands that a lot of people going through things (when) they are very young, and whatever they are going through ... they should be able to overcome because there's a lot more in life they can look forward to."

There were no students who witnessed the attempted suicide, according to police.

Pearland ISD said classes went on as planned Thursday, but extra counselors were brought in from other schools to help students who may need it.

Preventing suicide

According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, there is no single cause for suicide, but it most often happens when stress exceeds the coping abilities of someone suffering from a mental condition.

Recognizing the warning signs of suicide is the first step at getting a person the help they need, experts at the foundation said. Those signs include: 

  • Talk of being a burden to others, feeling trapped or killing themselves
  • Increased use of alcohol or drugs
  • Online searches for ways to commit suicide
  • Reckless actions
  • Withdrawing from activities
  • Giving away prized possession
  • Displaying moods of depression, rage, irritability, humiliation or anxiety

The foundation has put together an interactive support guide on its website,

People who need help can also call 800-273-8255 or text “TALK” to 741741.