Letter to the Editor


After reading Parisa Baharian’s column in the August edition of the Guardian, I wasn’t sure if I should be amused or appalled. More than anything else, I was tempted to think that it was all a sick joke, which was, after all, probably the catalyst to the article itself. But besides the fact that J was probably some kid with a magic marker completing a drunken dare, I found the article offensive and naive.

It is absolutely stomach-turning to think that after chatting with a campus shrink, noting a few stats and jotting down a few hotline phone numbers, Baharian has pronounced herself on a one-woman crusade to save all the kids out there who are telling her that “”voices are telling [them] to do bad things.””

She seems convinced that the rest of us are out there telling people to jump off bridges or put bullets in their heads. We are killing them with our ignorance, she cries. We label the issue as unspeakable, she declares. Maybe it should be unspeakable if the dialogue is at all reminiscent of Baharian’s plea to “”break the shackles of silence.””

Perhaps the article was written with the best of intentions. Perhaps J was/is a victim of society. And perhaps Baharian is perpetuating the very same stereotypes that she condemns–instead of looking to empathize with someone who is suicidal, she turns it into an us versus them struggle of having to save those who are obviously not right in the head, as evidenced by her going to a school counselor instead of people who had considered the option of killing themselves.

Suicide is obviously a serious problem and something does have to be done about it. Certainly, conversations should be had on the issues that would drive someone to even joke about taking his or her own life, but not if it resembles in any way, shape or form the holier-than-thou, completely-missing-the-point sermon of Baharian.

— Nancy He

Warren sophomore