Teachers, administrators and students at Langley High School are mourning the apparent suicide deaths of two male students, both confirmed by police to have been 17 years old.
Fairfax County police confirmed that one body was discovered at about 1:15 p.m. Monday in Scott’s Run Nature Preserve in McLean. “We feel there is no public safety threat,” said police spokeswoman Lucy Caldwell of that discovery.
Just over 24 hours later, around 2:35 p.m. on Tuesday, police said another male teen body had been discovered in a Great Falls home. “The cases do not seem to be related in any way,” said police spokesman Bud Walker.
On Tuesday, before the discovery of the second body, Langley High School Principal Matt Ragone sent out a letter to parents stating:
“Langley High School and Fairfax County Public School’s Office of Safety & Security were made aware that a Langley student died unexpectedly yesterday. In respect to the family’s wishes, Langley High School will not communicate any additional information about this incident.”
On Wednesday, Ragone sent out a second letter:
“Two very tragic incidents struck our school community this week. Families are grieving and we as a community grieve with them. As I indicated in my message to you yesterday, we will continue to respect the privacy of the families and the school will not be providing any additional details related to these incidents.”
Because they are minors, police did not reveal the names of the deceased. Although the identities are known, Fairfax County Times does not generally reveal the identities of suicide victims.
Both students were well-known athletes and memorials have sprung up on several social networking sites.
“Unfortunately, social media is currently littered with untruths and speculation regarding these incidents. Please help us and each other by not engaging in these rumors,” Ragone wrote in his second letter. “Thank you to everyone who has expressed their genuine concern and for your support of Langley High School. I realize that at times like this, answers are in short supply. However, it is important that we continue to be there for one another during this difficult time.”