The suicide of one Dobie student and the attempted suicide of another last week saw the community band together to combat a myriad of emotions, ranging from shock and sadness to bewilderment and anger.
Wednesday's double suicide attempt took the life of 16-year-old Scott Schimek. Jamie Ramirez, 19, was in good condition Wednesday at John Sealy Hospital in Galveston.
Coping at school
Nowhere was the grief more evident than the campus of Dobie High School. On Thursday, while the flag flew at half mast, students inside tried to confront the reality of what their schoolmates had done. A group of professional counselors and local clergy took their place beside school and school district counselors and nurses to talk with the students.
Before the end of the day, some 150 students had left class to seek counseling, said principal Jerry Speer.
Thursday night, many of the same counselors returned to the school to answer questions fro both students and parents regarding the tragedy.
That meeting was closed to the general public, Spees said many had attended out of curiosity now that suicide had touched their lives. "They wanted to know why Scott and Jamie would do this," he said. "I don't think they'll ever find the answers."
On Friday, the stream of students seeking counseling waned, Speer said, but still a shroud of sadness veiled the school. By Monday, a sense of normalcy was returning, Speer said.
How it happened
According to the police report, the two who had skipped school that day had ingested beer and sleeping pills before going to the Schimek residence, starting up the engines of an automobile and a pickup, parked in the garage, and climbing into the back of the truck.
Police said he two boys were found lying in the bed of the pickup by Schimek's mother shortly after 9 p.m.. Clasped in Schimek's hands was a crucifix.
Sgt. Dennis J. Gafford said Schimek had been dead about two hours when the boys were found. He said Ramirez, who was semi-conscious at best when found probably survived the ordeal longer due to being larger than Schimek. He said the amount of pills ingested and Ramirez' tolerance of the pills could play a role as well.
Gafford said the cause of Schimke's death has been tentatively ruled carbon monoxide poisoning but the toxicologist's report was pending.