A Community Tries to get Answers
The City of Stillwater is dealing with the aftermath of an eighth grade student at Stillwater Junior High who apparently committed suicide minutes before classes started on Wednesday.
13-year-old Cade Poulos shot himself at 7:50 in the morning leading to an evacuation of the students and a community asking what happened.
Minutes after Cade Poulos committed suicide, the parking area at Cimarron Plaza shopping center filled with students evacuated from the junior high school and parents trying to find them.
Students, teachers and parents took time for reflection and prayer.
Fellow eighth grader Stella recalls being in the hall when she heard the gun shot so close to her.
“There was just a gasp from everybody all at the same time and then silence for about three seconds. And then I kind of looked over to see what it was and I saw a body laying on the ground with just blood everywhere and then i just started running.”
It didn’t take long for a Facebook page to come out to remember Cade Poulos including mentions of possible bullying.
Stillwater Superintendent Ann Caine says she did look into Cade’s student information to see if bullying had been mentioned.
“I will tell you he was a good student. There was nothing in the computer that indicated that any bullying incident had been reported. If there had been it would have been in our computer system.”
In fact, Stillwater Junior High officials don’t know much about Cade.
He just started the eighth grade and had only attended at the junior high building for six weeks.
“But in talking to some of the staff that knew him they loved his red hair and his smile. They say he had the biggest smile.”
Caine says this is a tough time for the Stillwater school district.
“I’ve been in education for 34 years have never had a situation like this in all my different roles in education you never are ready for a day like this.”
Counselors from career tech and OSU have volunteered their services and Stillwater school counselors are also on hand for the students.
Stillwater police Captain Randy Dickerson’s been on the force for nearly 27 years and never had an experience quite like this one.
He says this could have a major impact on a small community like Stillwater.
“It’s very upsetting and it’s going to force people to look at the situation and the safety and everything else. I think we’re extremely well prepared and we’re a very safe community, but we’re not immune from things like this happening.”
Dickerson says he’s extremely impressed with the efficiency of teachers and police in keeping kids safe.
While police aren’t saying what led to the shooting, they do say no one else was in any danger from Cade.
There are no metal detectors at Stillwater Junior High and Superintendent Caine says that might be a discussion which could happen soon.
But, for now the city will pray and find a way to move forward.