The death of a female student at Illinois School for the Deaf on March 16, 2018, has the community heartbroken however in the midst of their heartbreak people are questioning what made Janie end her life.
“The seventeen-year-old girl was found in her dorm room at 7 am and was pronounced dead thirty minutes later,” Coroner Jeff Lair said Friday.
Janie Strange’s sister Jordan posted on the Illinois School for the Deaf Alumni Association Facebook page making a formal statement about her sister’s death.
“This doesn’t feel real, and I really wish it wasn’t. I feel sick to my stomach but I want to let the world know rather than let rumors swirl. A lot of people know that my sister has struggled with depression since my dad died in 2014, and unfortunately, she decided to end that struggle in a devastating and irreversible way today. My beautiful baby sister died today at the age of 17. There is no love like the love of a sister, and Janie I will miss you and love you every day for the rest of my life.” Jordan Strange
People in the community have started up speculations on what led to her decision to take her own life. Is it that Illinois School for the Deaf has encouraged and continued to enforce an audism based environment that causes students to feel oppressed at school or do they have a rape culture which Janie had experienced firsthand? Schools for the Deaf have a long-standing history of sexual assault at schools by staff members and other students.
What is the main issue that Illinois School for the Deaf has to look at and eradicate? Again these are only speculations that have been expressed by community members and not the opinion of DSTidbits.
As Jordan mentioned above, her little sister was depressed because of her father’s death so it very well could be that she did not kill herself because of anything that the school did, however, it is important not to sweep possible issues under the rug.
At the end of the day, the final question is: did the school do everything possible to help prevent this from happening. Does the school for the deaf’s overnight staff follow the standard protocol of checking rooms on a regular basis (Texas School for the Deaf reports a 15-minute interval between rounds)? Do they have steps to recognize signs of depression and mental health counseling options for students? In the end, the school for the deaf will decide if they want to figure out what they need to do to prevent this from happening again. Keep in mind, the police have already stated that there was no suspected foul play in her death so the school may feel no obligation to investigate allegations put forth by the community.
If you are thinking about ending your life or know of somebody that is considering suicide contact crisis text line. Sharing this information might save a life.
DSTidbits would like to express our condolences to the family.