Tragedy as 11-year-old boy takes his own life during Zoom class

Josh Dutton
·News Reporter
·3-min read

An 11-year-old boy has died after he took his own life during a Zoom school lesson.

The boy, from San Joaquin County in the US state of California, was learning from home on Wednesday about 11am (local time) before he had to be rushed to hospital, ABC10 reported.

He had been attending school via Zoom. His audio and video were off when he tried to take his own life.

Police outside a home in San Joaquin County in the US state of California where Adam Llanos died by suicide.
Police outside a home in San Joaquin County after the boy took his own life. Source: Facebook/San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office

The boy, who has been identified as Adan Llanos, died later on Wednesday afternoon.

A neighbour told NBC3 Adan’s sister ran over to his house banging on the door for help.

She was in a separate room of the house also in a Zoom class, San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office’s Sandra Mendez told ABC10, and was the one who found her brother dying.

Adan attended Woodbridge Elementary School, which had students learning from home since the start of the school year on August 3 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“That little boy was one of the nicest little boys you’ll ever want to know,” the neighbour told NBC3.

“He was special. Easygoing. He was the type of person who would never hurt anybody. Soft-spoken, with a beautiful smile.”

Pictured is Adan Llanos, 11, with mum Mirna. His sister was the one who found him dying.
Adan, 11, pictured here with his mum, Mirna. Source: GoFundMe

It’s not clear what led to Adan’s decision to take his own life.

Tara Niendam, a child psychologist for UC Davis, told ABC10 children were feeling the same pressure and isolation as adults during the coronavirus pandemic.

"All they need is one meaningful adult to talk to," Ms Niendam said.

"That needs to maybe be a teacher or a coach, and (children) don't have that person now."

Cathy Nichols-Washer, who is superintendent of Lodi Unified School District which controls Woodbridge Elementary School, said they were “deeply saddened” by Adan’s death and urged parents to seek help for their struggling children.

“Counselling and bereavement support services are available to students and staff during this difficult time,” the superintendent said in a statement to Facebook.

“Our thoughts are with the family affected by this terrible tragedy. We also offer our condolences to the Woodbridge Elementary community.

“If you have concerns about your child’s reaction to this loss, please contact your child’s school site for support services.”

A GoFundMe page has been started to pay for Adan’s funeral.

“I know Aron and Mirna are such great parents, I can’t even imagine what they are going [through]. I'm doing this gofundme to be able to help my family with the funeral expenses,” the organiser wrote.

Feeling worried or struggling to cope during the Coronavirus pandemic? Visit coronavirus.beyondblue.org.au or speak with trained counsellors on 1800 512 348.

Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636, Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467.

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