It greatly saddened me to read the KDH article partially headlined, “Bus driver who committed suicide.” This valuable man of the community died by suicide, but he did not “commit” it as someone who might have committed a crime.

Let us, the public and journalists, reflect the language of empathy and fact and not the archaic insinuation of yet more shame /dishonor. My heart goes out to the family, friends and the many students who surely grieve the passing of Mr. Bill Jones.

The epidemic of suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. Two-thirds of gun deaths in the U.S. are suicides. Most victims are male and most do not leave a suicide note. Someone in the U.S. dies by suicide every 14 minutes and worldwide one dies every 40 seconds.

In April of 2010, I lost my precious son to suicide. That date, that pain, and that grief never goes away. Those who are not personally touched by suicide are very fortunate.

My son, my grandmother, my great-nephew did not commit a crime of suicide. They lost all hope and, in various ways, felt abandoned and alone and died by suicide.

Thomas Joiner, a leading author and professor of psychology, writes that research finds there are commonalities in those who consider ending their lives: feeling being a burden to others, feeling of not belonging, and overcoming fear of self-harm.

I express sincere gratitude to the Killeen Daily Herald, and the writer, Lauren Dodd, for covering the important story of the bus driver who gave years of dedicated service to KISD.

My dissatisfaction with KISD, as an employer and a major community partner, is turning to disgust. Has KISD become so businesslike and robotic that it has lost sight of its relationship with its human staff and its employer responsibility in effective training?

The upcoming school board election will be a continuing importance in expecting basic values in those persons entrusted with regarding employees as worthy of quality leadership.

Board candidate comments that accuse our city newspaper of “stirring up something” will not get my vote, and those candidates too silent about losing a respected employee to tragic and preventable death, will not get my vote on a basic human-being level.

Nancy Pfiester

Harker Heights

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