Fifth grade is a tender age for children. New friends to make. New songs to learn. New dreams to fill future hopes. It really is a cute age.
This world is often short on cute, but little girls in fifth grade manage to keep us in ample supply.
Jasmine McClain of Chadbourn, N.C., always liked to do her hair up in pigtails. She loved to dance. She loved flowers and pink dresses. Ashlynn Connor of Ridgefarm, Ill., loved animals and wanted to be veterinarian. She was known to pick up stray cats and care for them.
And at the ages of 10, Jasmine and Ashlynn each committed suicide.
Ryan Patrick Halligan of Essex Junction, Vt., was 13 years old. He suffered from a learning disorder and always had to work harder to keep up with his classmates. His sister found him dead, having hanged himself in his bedroom.
The list of child suicides is long and tearful. Megan Taylor Meier of Dardenne Prairie, Mo., three weeks before her 14th birthday. Jared Benjamin High of Pasco, Wash., 14 years old. Rachel Ehmke of Mantorville, Minn., 13 years old.
Billy Lucas of Greensburg, Ind., 15 years old. Asher Brown of Houston, Texas, 13 years old. Seth Walsh of Tehachapi, Calif., 13 years old. Joel Morales of New York, 12 years old.