The email below and similar ones are being widely circulated today about the suicide of a student at Glenbrook North High School. It is difficult to read. One of a number of news stories about the tragedy is here.

Dear Governor Pritzker and Staff:

It is with great sadness that I am seeing my children and all youth in Illinois deteriorate, and I am seeing suicides increasing with your lockdowns.  We experienced this in our own community last week with the most recent loss of Dylan Buckner, a star student, athlete, teammate, friend, brother and son at Glenbrook North in District 225.  We were given hope for school to resume in January and given hope that athletes would be allowed to proceed.  But this has not been the case.

See the below message from Dylan’s father:

Covid is a complex issue.  I don’t have all the facts or any answers.  But for Dylan, football was worth the risk.  Like many, he tried almost every day, often for hours.   Speed training. Weights. Nutrition. Throwing. Film. Mental skills.  For Dylan, what was best for him was clear.  He needed to be in school.  He needed to be with his friends.  He needed to be with his teammates.  He needed to be able to play football.

I urge you to open youth sports and to actively encourage schools to open safely, as many schools have the ability and resources to do so.  My son has attended Catholic school all day every day for 17 straight weeks with zero transmissions and all teachers and students in person.  Without sports and school our kids are in great danger.  Taking away sports seasons breaks the spirit of our youth.  Athletics provides a social and emotional safety net for those who participate as well as helps kids build respect for one another, stay physically healthy, problem solve, develop friendships and build leadership skills.

Death from teen suicide far exceeds the threat of COVID from that same age group.  Stripping away or further postponing sports seasons will directly and negatively impact our youth.  You have the knowledge, you have the power, and we have the need to open up all youth sports and schools with the appropriate safety measures.   It is time for you to do something for these kids.  It is time for you to stop ignoring the mental and physical health of these kids simply because it is harder to quantify and simply because they do not vote.

You and the state of IL need to prioritize our children.  You need to understand that you are destroying them mentally, physically and academically.  You need to promote in person learning and open up sports to these young people, give them a chance.

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Marilynn
4 days ago

Having raised 3 children – I totally agree that these fear mongering, power freaks – mostly democrats are destroying our society. I am very saddened by this. It’s time to stop this insanity and let people live freely and make their own choices of what they think is best for them and their families. My other concern is that we have become a Godless society and as long as that continues we are headed for mayhem and destruction.

Bill
4 days ago
Reply to  Marilynn

Couldn’t agree more with you. This country and especially this State is in a sad state of affairs

Dale
5 days ago

This POS governor could care less about any of us, including young people who can’t vote yet. Narcissistic, egotistical a-hole!

NoHope4Illinois
5 days ago
Reply to  Mark Glennon

Mr Glennon we know why – Democrats chose to politicize the pandemic, thinking it would help them gain even more power (apparently it worked) Kids, small businesses, and working families were just the casualties of their cynical plans.

Jim
5 days ago

Amen,Amen AMEN

Rick
6 days ago

I remember as my son was growing up from junior high through high school. Him being smart, or the best, was never the priority. My priorities were that he be good and that he not be isolated that he finds a least a few good friends. He’s introverted you see. It is incredibly important for 6-12 graders to have accepting friends above all else. China sure knew what it was doing when it set out to harm us.

I'm no Senator's Son
6 days ago

They don’t care what happens to the youth nor to the elderly. This was never about “the science”, never about truth, never about healthcare or what was right and good for the citizens who actually are the government, or we thought so until we witnessed what Blue State’s did to their people. Nope, this is about power, it’s corrupt, it’s pure evil and will not cease now because all they need in the future is to pull another Genie out of the bottle, AKA an Evil Virus which is silent and unseen and bring fear back on to the masses.… Read more »

willowglen
6 days ago

I made it out of a negative circumstance because of athletics, fortunate to win a state championship and an athletic scholarship to college. The intangible benefits, however, were far greater than the tangible ones. Athletics were a way to express myself, and in turn motivated me to focus on academics as well. While there may have been other issues with this young man, I think man are underestimating the sense of loss experienced by our young people.