Santa Monica High School Student Dies After Suicide Attempt, Source Says

The incident occurred at the Sheraton Delfina hotel near the school campus late Friday.

(Updated at 2:23 p.m.): An individual who works for the SMMUSD and requested not to be named told Santa Monica Patch on Saturday afternoon that the student who attempted suicide has died.


A student attempted to commit suicide near the campus of the school Friday, according to a district memorandum that has been obtained by Santa Monica Patch.

According to the memo, the incident occurred around 5 p.m. at the hotel across the street from campus. The student attempted suicide by jumping off an upper floor of the hotel. After the attempt, the student survived and was transported to the , according to the memo. The student's parents are with the student at the hospital.

A person who works for the SMMUSD but requested not to be named told Santa Monica Patch that the student, a freshman, kicked out a window on the eighth floor of the hotel. The individual also said police cordoned off the area near the school Friday after the incident.

According to the memo, counselors were to be available at the school Saturday morning to talk with Samohi students and their families in need of support. The memo also indicated that additional support would be provided on Tuesday. (The school is not in session Monday due to the Martin Luther King Jr., holiday.)

Representatives for the SMMUSD, the and UCLA Medical Center did not respond to calls for additional comment by press time.

Evan January 15, 2011 at 10:51 PM
So sad...I saw that Pico was blocked off west of Lincoln last night, didn't know this was why.
MEDUSA January 16, 2011 at 05:22 AM
Santa Monica High School faculty should pay attention to those student that are alienated, shunned, disconnect and new to the community...as a mother of a new student...there is little to suppoirt or no outreach to help students assimilate, a buddy for a year system, or teachers that reachout on a personal level. My daughter for 8 months has been called by her instructors every name but her "given" name, and for kids that already are in hard adolescent age, perhaps already feel invisible, to not even take the time to know thier name - much less spell it right after repeatedly trying to get staff at the office to correct it. Is it any wonder that a child would feel invisible? perhapd feel irrelevant, depressed or suicidal??? Please SAMOHI faculty and leadership...PLEASE look , WATCH, listen, TO STUDENT THAT ARE DRIFTING...MAY BE SCHOLASTICALLY STELLAR and for the few hours you have our children SEE THE SIGNS, call home, call the parents...lets help , prevent, assist...
emily January 16, 2011 at 08:06 AM
My thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of this young man. May he find the peace that eluded him on the other side.
robert January 16, 2011 at 09:09 AM
@medusa.....samo is a great school and there are so many variables in this situation, to just put the blame completely on the school and its faculty is irrational. without knowing the situation its not fair to assume on such vague details about the incident. as a senior of santa monica high, i truely believe that any teacher or member of the staff would have intervened and taken supportive action if they knew the depth of the situation. i think whats best for the santa monica community is just to be respectful and supportive of the family and understand it's not an issue with society, everyones brain chemistry is different. for this individual, this was personal matter that we all wish could have been resolved, but truely there's just no one to blame for such a tragedy
Debra January 16, 2011 at 09:03 PM
robert so very well said, and I agree with you. our hearts and prayers go out to the parents and family members at this time, i can 't even imagine what they are going thru. my daughet is a senior at samo and love this school. for medusa, if your child is having a teacher problem, talk to the TEACHER, then go to the principal. make your own fellings known, if the school won't listen take your issue higher. don't just do nothing! And how do you know what this child was going thru that you have to make the comments that you did. You should apoligize to the SAMO comuunity!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
A very concerned parent January 16, 2011 at 09:54 PM
Debra, you should apologize to Medusa, you don't know in what pain her own child is in, only she and her child do. I have a child in this school district who is just as sweet, intelligent, kind, athletic, and fun-loving as I have read Matthew Mezza was, God bless his soul, and he is presently being mercilessly bullied at his school. I have done everything you have suggested and more, in fact I called the police into the matter because the administration was and has done little to help the situation. I would almost guarantee a child like that doesn't go to baseball practice as this boy did, and then for no reason suddenly yell he's going to kill himself, and then go and actually do it, without some kind of extraordinary provocation by someone at the practice that was not dealt with properly. Perhaps your child has not experienced this, but mine has, and it is torture when it is not dealt with properly. I also want to know why it has been kept out of the mainstream news, it should be the front page of many papers and should be on the news, but it is not. I feel there is a cover-up of sorts going on, which is the worst possible thing that could happen, because if it is not brought out into the mainstream and handled, I fear many other children will be victimized like I know in my heart this poor dear boy must have been. May God and Jesus console his family during this horrific time in their lives.
Susan January 16, 2011 at 11:21 PM
To a very concerned parent: These stories need to stay off the front pages. They attract attention and increase the risk of copycats. Focus on what you can do that's positive from such a devastating tragedy -- support the family, love your children, provide a safe place for those that don't have one. Please don't cast aspersions. It will accomplish nothing, nor will it bring this dear boy back.
barbara January 17, 2011 at 04:06 AM
I agree. Too many adults who spend so much time with our children during the day need to be more tuned in. There are many children left behind and 'invisible' that 'make it thru' (thank goodness) and then there are those that just don't have the strength on their own. We are all connected at some level and it's time we take more responsibility for those that we spend time with every day. For all those that touched this young man's life every day, take a moment to think about what you missed and vow to pay more attention to all the children whose lives you touch. I speak from experience both in my highschool years and for my son who will be a freshman next year. Kids can be mean, teachers can be dismissive and unconnected and parents can be 'too busy'... that's got to stop.
Samo Baseball Player January 17, 2011 at 08:20 AM
@"A very concerned parent": I am a senior on the Santa Monica High School's varsity baseball team, and I can guarantee that under no circumstance was there any "extraordinary provocation by someone at the practice". Harassment, bullying, or anything else that falls under the category of "provocation" just simply does not happen at our practices. Any one of our coaches would not hesitate in taking action to prevent harassment from occurring, as we like to view ourselves as an extended family. Sure, jokes are occasionally spoken, and while I do understand that some people may not be as receptive to jokes directed towards themselves, I've never heard a genuinely intentional insult, etc. been said in my four years on the baseball team. I'm not looking to start an argument or whatever, I just wanted to clarify, as I felt that part of your comment was, for lack of a better term, a cheap shot.
Samo Baseball Player January 17, 2011 at 08:21 AM
Furthermore, I'm not even going to delve into your outlandish statement that there was a "cover up". Every kid and parent on the baseball team came to school on Saturday morning to discuss the tragic event that occurred on Friday. We had counseling and talked about it for a good amount of time. We were talked to before the rest of the school as many of the JV and freshman kids witnessed this whole thing occur. The school is going to be addressed formally when we return to school on Tuesday. If I recall correctly, the district declined to give out the student's name out of respect for the family and their privacy during this time of sadness. I'm gonna stop rambling on about this, however, because to be honest, none of that matters. A devastating tragedy occurred. The smart, athletic, and funny kid that I've known for many years has passed on. All I can really say is that I'm still at a loss for words, and that my thoughts and prayers are with him and his family during this time of tragedy. Rest in Peace - This baseball season is for you.
Anonymous January 17, 2011 at 09:08 AM
I always find it interesting how people can read a vague article, like this one, and jump to conclusions. It's the administrations fault. It's the coaching staffs fault. It's the other students fault. I, unfortunately, have quite a bit more detail regarding the events that took place. And for anyone to place blame or point fingers, is just ignorant. I don't understand why a few who have commented on this article feel the need to judge. You've pointed the finger at just about everyone, except the boys' parents/family. I can guarantee that the boys' teachers, counselors, advisors, coaches, friends, etc have all been racked with guilt over such a tragedy. I think Emily is the only one who got it right......Let's just pray for this young mans soul and the family he left behind. May they all find peace.
hoping for peace January 17, 2011 at 06:35 PM
How true; finger-pointing doesn't help here. And if there is anything to blame, once again it comes down to money. I recently attended a conference regarding school bullying. Apparently much of the problem stems from (no surprise here) a lack of adequate funds. On campus there aren't enough adults to go around, so the kids are basically left to self-govern. Which -- as we know -- can be dysfunctional and tragic. Back in the old days before Prop 13, school counselors had time for regular meetings with students. Hallway monitors were plentiful, and smaller classes meant that teachers could get to know their students personally. I would love to see parents, students, and administrators focus on ways to raise extra money for our schools. We need more adults present on our K-12 campuses so that kids can once again feel "safe" at school, not only physically, but emotionally.
Debra January 17, 2011 at 08:51 PM
to very concerned parent, yes, my child did experience bulling in grammer school. I don't have anything to apoligize for, I took action when I saw a diffence in my child. We went to the principal and had several meetings with him and others, teachers even stepped in. I even spoke to the parents, to no avail. Finally having a talk with the bully made her stop. So, yes, I know what it feels like when you feel that you cannot help your child, but you never give up no matter how long it takes or what it takes. Come on people how can you put blame on the adults that are around our children all the time. Who knows your children better than you!. It starts at home, spend more time with them. I had a teacher ask me about my daughter and I had to tell him the kind of personallity she has. How in the world can we expect strangers to know what to look for in our children. If you don't know what it going on in there minds or lives how do you expect them to know!
anonymous January 18, 2011 at 10:57 PM
I don't believe anyone was finger pointing and if there was then that's wrong. No one is to blame for this tragedy. I went to samo and if you're rich or on a sports team then you're fine but otherwise the school is just so big that sometimes I and others would feel lost. Everyone has different experiences but if some are feeling lost then that is a problem that Samohi and the parents of the children need to help fix. A talk once a semester or once a year like a pep rally to talk about things like this. That being said i'm not pointing fingers. All we can do now is mourn and not assume. The message still stands though that we need to learn from this situation. Bullied or not he committed suicide and it wouldn't hurt to start something up at school to help prevent this from happening again. may your soul rest in peace matthew
Louise January 19, 2011 at 08:16 PM
I read all the comments and see the different points of views but MEDUSA yours hit home. The signs of frustration comes through every word, it makes you wonder if Matthew tried to convey his frustration but was cut off by invalidations as I read from all the other comments. How does anyone help if they ignore the signs? Your words are valid and so was Matthew, but now just his actions are left to remind us to talk to one another without shutting the door. Just as the comments have shut the doors to making any changes to how people respond to each other and reach out. What you have stated was real to you, what others say are true to them, what happen to Matthew should not be ignored. The one who speaks the loudest to shut you up denies another child help. People listen, Stop and think about the person across from you how did you help them today? Or did you walk on by.
Aimee January 20, 2011 at 05:56 AM
I went to SAMOHI and would have commit suicide if it wasn't for the acceptance of my French class. Everything else was beyond miserable. At Lincoln, I was at counselors offices 24/7 and they did NOTHING to stop the bullying, at SAMO everyone stopped bullying, but completely ignored me.
lisa January 20, 2011 at 07:03 AM
've read all of your comments and honestly you all have a valid point with no one is just being"right" or "wrong". This is yet another very tragic and unnecessary wake up call to all of us as members of our community. It is our responsibility as parents, educators, students, friends, family and the media to notice when something isn't right and to do something about it. The signs are there but, is anyone paying attention? We can all point a fingers at someone else and get nothing done! But remember, there are always three of your own fingers pointing back at you. We are all responsible for these tragedies and any others that will continue to happen again and again and again. It is each and everyone of our responsibility to stop stop it now. I honestly hope that this will be the last suicide our community will experience. I hope everyone of us WILL to take responsibility and take a stance to do anything and everything we can to put a stop to these tragedies. Just think, next week it could be your son or daughter, your niece or nephew, friend or another one of your students. Next week will be too late. Just think how horrible it will be when you realize you could have done something about it but you chose not to. The choice to end these tragedies begins with you as it does with me. Matthew may you rest in peace. My thoughts are with you and your family tonight.
lisa January 20, 2011 at 07:52 AM
I don't mean to sound preachy. I am very passionate about it because I was not only bullied but I was also a bully. My child has also been both. After seeing the reaction of a supervising adult (who's job is to keep children safe), literally laugh and brushed the incidents off stating "boys will be boys" when my son was being bullied. My son is not only still afraid of the kids but now doesn't trust the adults around him who are suppose to keep him safe. I made a promise to myself then that I would never sit idle and dismiss anything with him or any other child regardless how harmless it may appear. Nor will I ever tolerate my children taunting, teasing or bullying anyone again. This is why I have chosen to not ignore these issues and why I am doing something about it.
Anonymous January 20, 2011 at 08:17 AM
May the family and friends of this dear young man find peace within the face of our heavenly father. Grieving over death is a long and never ending process, but especially hard when it's your child and it's suicide. I know a little of this experience, because I lost a very close and dear friend to suicide last year. She was so full of life, but I know now that she was suffering within with an emotional illness. Eventually, I stopped blaming myself and others, and trusted in God to help me through the rough times. The grief never goes away, but it ceases to be a constant emotion & is replaced by fond memories. If any of the family or friends read this, Our House in Santa Monica is a wonderful grief counseling foundation. Again, although this seems meaningless to say, I wish the family a speedy recovery from this tragedy by remembering all of the wonderful things about their dear child. Memories never die.
James Kenneth Terry June 02, 2011 at 02:55 AM
Hello Madusa and Louise, both of you have made excellent points. I am a licensed, Masters Level Mental Health Professional, I agree with both of you. Teacher's and other staff, should be trained in suicide observations. It would be great to have a club or organization to welcome new students to the school. When I was in school, my senior high school class consisted of 55 students. But now, there are 1,200 or more in a senior class. WOW! One could easily get lost and alienated. A licensed professional should be employed by the school system and made available to troubled and confused students. I hope we become more concerned and sensitive to our children. As an abused child, I often thought about suicide, with only one attempt at age 9 years. No adult ever attempted to assist me. I have been there, all alone, with no one to share with and only saw suicide as the best option for me. My heart goes out to the family. Where was the communication with you? The community should share the responsibility for this unfortunate incident. Good bless you.


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