Baxter Community Rallies Over Suicide Prevention

BAXTER, Iowa--  The Baxter Community School District is postponing homecoming festivities to focus on suicide prevention week.

This comes at the same time as one of their students took his own life.

In between football practice 8th grader Mark Butler reflects on his last memory with his cousin Landon Roush.

“I taught him how to bunny hop on a bike and he was all happy about it, Butler said.

13-year-old Roush took his own life on Sunday.

Now the community and the school district are rallying support.

“Instead of just focusing on the tragedy of it we are trying to turn it into a learning experience for our students and our community, so we have decided to focus on the suicide prevention aspect," Superintendent Mickolyn Clapper said.

Butler and his teammates are doing just that.

“We just tied a ribbon just uh for Landon and for suicide prevention to show they actually matter," Butler said.

The rest of Landon’s classmates are donating blankets to the homeless, all in Landon's name.

“Getting those colorful blankets, he was definitely colorful,” teacher Kristin Luther said. “I think it’s a great idea to show that they needed to do something".

According to the Iowa Department of Public Health, suicide killed more than 400 people last year.

Butler hopes his efforts help reduce that number and lead the fight against suicide.

“There is always somebody there to talk to there is always someone there for you," Butler said.

Click here if you or anyone you know needs help.