Last week in Pennsylvania, a 13-year-old named Cayman Haib(link is external) killed himself after receiving an email from his private school that he was behind in his homework. Obviously, every suicide has deep and complex causes. It would be conjecture to assume that the pressure to succeed at school was the prime driving force behind Cayman’s decision to take his own life.
That said, hopefully his death will be a catalyst for some type of positive change in the world and re-energize the dialogue about how much pressure is being put on our children to succeed from a very young age.
What is the toll of putting so much pressure on children to get good grades, do well on standardized tests, excel in extracurriculars, and get into an A-list college? What canparents, teachers, and policy makers do to break this vicious cycle and reduce the insanity of the K-12 rat race?