The month of September is recognized as National Suicide Prevention month, and the parents of one of our former La Joya ISD students, Elias Macias Jr. III, worked together with the district to put together an eye-opening and heart-felt display for our community.

Last spring, Mr. and Mrs. Elias Macias’ son fell victim to suicide and have since been on a mission to bring awareness to the youth in hopes of preventing another tragedy from striking our families.

With the help of the students and staff of the Academy of Health Science Professions & STEM, and LJ Palmview High School, Ms. Macias coordinated a powerful presentation at each of the comprehensive High School’s home football games. The activity consisted in the following:

When the games began, every 15 minutes, one student – dressed in white, came out, stood on the track holding a white balloon and remained there for the duration of the game.

At the half, a suicide prevention message (along with statistics) was heard over the loud speaker informing the fans of the significance of the students dressed in white around the track, and to take notice throughout the rest of the game.

As the game progressed, more and more students came out and lined up around the track, coming out every 15 minutes. When the game ended, over 125 students marched on the field – each holding their white balloon – representing the number of suicides that would have occurred across the country since the game began.

Thus allowing fans to visualize the severity of the suicide epidemic occurring today.