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Published: Wednesday, 2/8/2006

Panel to discuss suicide

BOWLING GREEN - In an effort to answer questions and launch a community discussion about teen suicide, WBGU-TV plans to broadcast Our Community Cares, a live panel discussion on the issue at 9 p.m. today.

The program will be broadcast on Bowling Green State University's cable channel 6. Residents who do not have access to the station through Time-Warner Cable may watch the program in Room 101 of Olscamp Hall on campus or at the WBGU-PBS studio, 245 Troup Ave.

Last week, Bowling Green High School junior Jeffery Laskey, 17, hanged himself in a school restroom during first period. He was the third student from the 1,200-student school to commit suicide in less than two years.

Patrick Fitzgerald, general manager of WBGU, said in a letter sent to families of Bowling Green students yesterday that the program was intended "to dispel misinformation about last week's events at the high school and share information on how to look for risk factors, how to communicate with those we love and care for, and what our community is doing and what you might do to support those who are at risk."

Viewers will be able to call in questions to the panelists during and after the program.

Bowling Green City Schools Superintendent Hugh Caumartin said the televised forum will address the facts of what happened last week as well as give advice to parents and others who are concerned about their own children's safety.

"There's a lot of need for it," he said. "A lot of parents are asking questions." Mr. Caumartin said counselors were still at the school this week helping students deal with the tragedy.

"You've got to talk about it," Mr. Caumartin said. "You've got a lot of people scared. Maybe it's time to move the discussion up to the level to where it will do some good."



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