Community leaders in Davenport are asking for a call to action after a string of teen suicides in Scott County over the past year.
Mayor Bill Gluba announced plans for a community-wide town hall type meeting to address the issue with school officials, educators, police, students and parents.
“Davenport and the Quad Cities are not immune from these tragedies and government at all levels must do more to combat this growing epidemic,” said Gluba at a news conference at City Hall on Friday.
The meeting is scheduled at Davenport North High School cafeteria on Tuesday, April 29th. It’s set for 6pm-7:30 pm in the cafeteria and is open to the public.
“It is a call to action and we needed to immediately get on it, and students asked us to please get information, so students will have a place to turn. We need to put the safety net around. We need to make sure we’re all together and available. That’s why I hope we get the community, parents, and grandparents out on the 29th,” said Davenport Schools Superintendent Art Tate.
Earlier this month, two teenaged girls in Scott County hung themselves within a matter of five days.
One was 12. The other, 14-year old Alice Schmitt. Schmitt’s friends say the teen was depressed over a break-up with her boyfriend and had been bullied by some other kids.
“Some of these cases, it’s possible bullying may have played a role and we’ve followed that through. And some, we’ve determined that it absolutely does not play a role,” said Police Chief Frank Donchez.
Police are also promoting a year old phone app that allows citizens to text tips straight to the police department, anonymously. Called the “Do What’s Right” program, police say the app, available on the police department’s website, would incorporate well into proactive prevention of teens in crisis.
“Our goal is to offer early intervention. We’ll send a police officer, fire, medic, give them a ride to the hospital, anything to help the situation,” said Brent Morgan, with the Davenport Police Department.