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17-year-old student dies at Fort Lauderdale High School

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A 17-year-old senior jumped from a third-floor balcony to his death at Fort Lauderdale High School on Thursday morning, stunning classmates and staff who witnessed the efforts to save him.

“This morning, unfortunately, we are mourning the loss of one of our own students. Our entire school community is feeling the pain of this, and we send out condolences to the family as well,” Broward School Superintendent Vickie Cartwright said in a media briefing outside the school on Northwest Fourth Avenue.

“The young man, unfortunately, did decide to take his own life. It was an isolated incident.”

According to witnesses, shortly before 10 a.m. the student scribbled a note in pencil on his desk, then climbed up an open-air stairwell where he jumped from the third-floor balcony.

Security guards raced to him to try to resuscitate him and 911 was called, Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Chief Stephen Gollan said. The boy was taken to Broward Health where he was pronounced dead.

On Thursday afternoon, Fort Lauderdale High Principal Erin Brown sent a message to students and families: “Unfortunately, this morning’s medical emergency involved a student who tragically took his own life. Our hearts are broken and our thoughts are with his family. We are here for all of you.”

Security guards patrolled the Fort Lauderdale High School campus throughout the school day Thursday to try to prevent anyone from accessing the site where the public su!cide occurred.

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