Colorado Boy Said to Self-Immolate in High School Cafeteria

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Jan. 27 2014 2:55 PM

Colorado Boy Said to Self-Immolate in High School Cafeteria

Details are still scarce, but a 16-year-old high school student reportedly attempted suicide this morning by setting himself on fire in his school's cafeteria. According to the local ABC affiliate in Denver, the boy suffered severe burns and was transported to a nearby hospital, where he was in critical condition this morning.

The outcome would have likely been worse if it weren't for the apparent quick thinking of two school employees who came to the rescue with a fire extinguisher. One of the two suffered a minor injury during the ordeal, according to police.

Students at Standley Lake High School were sent home for the day while authorities and school officials try their best to make sense of the difficult-to-make-sense-of incident, including whether the boy made any threats prior to his apparent self-immolation. Meanwhile, the sad news becomes the latest in a string of school-related trouble in the Denver area in recent weeks. Here's the Associated Press with the helpful albeit depressing roundup:

On Thursday, Columbine High School, where two gunmen killed 13 people in 1999, went on high security alert after receiving a series of threatening phone calls. The alert applied to a half-dozen other schools in the area, in the same school district as Standley Lake, but was lifted the same day.
On Dec. 13, student gunman Karl Pierson, 17, fatally shot Claire Davis, a 17-year-old classmate at Arapahoe High School in Centennial before killing himself in the school's library. Pierson reportedly had threatened a teacher and librarian who had disciplined him last year and allegedly was seeking that teacher when he entered the school, investigators have said. ...
Westminster was home to 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway, who was abducted on her way to school and killed in 2012. Austin Sigg, who was 17 at the time of the crime, was sentenced to a life sentence plus 86 years. Jessica's disappearance put Westminster and neighboring Denver suburbs on edge as police, aided by an army of volunteers, searched for her and then her killer.

Colorado state lawmakers, meanwhile, are currently considering legislation that would spend about a quarter of a million dollars to keep open a a hotline that students and teachers can use to anonymously report threats and bullying. State officials, according to the AP, say that the hotline has prevented more than two dozen attacks since it opened back in 2004.

Kelly Tunney is a Slate intern in New York City.



More Than Scottish Pride

Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself. 

What Charles Barkley Gets Wrong About Corporal Punishment and Black Culture

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

Three Talented Actresses in Three Terrible New Shows

Why Do Some People See the Virgin Mary in Grilled Cheese?

The science that explains the human need to find meaning in coincidences.


Happy Constitution Day!

Too bad it’s almost certainly unconstitutional.

Is It Worth Paying Full Price for the iPhone 6 to Keep Your Unlimited Data Plan? We Crunch the Numbers.

What to Do if You Literally Get a Bug in Your Ear

  News & Politics
Sept. 16 2014 7:03 PM Kansas Secretary of State Loses Battle to Protect Senator From Tough Race
Sept. 16 2014 2:35 PM Germany’s Nationwide Ban on Uber Lasted All of Two Weeks
The Vault
Sept. 16 2014 12:15 PM “Human Life Is Frightfully Cheap”: A 1900 Petition to Make Lynching a Federal Offense
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus Video
Sept. 16 2014 2:06 PM A Farewell From Emily Bazelon The former senior editor talks about her very first Slate pitch and says goodbye to the magazine.
Brow Beat
Sept. 16 2014 8:43 PM This 17-Minute Tribute to David Fincher Is the Perfect Preparation for Gone Girl
Future Tense
Sept. 16 2014 6:40 PM This iPhone 6 Feature Will Change Weather Forecasting
  Health & Science
Sept. 16 2014 1:39 PM The Case of the Missing Cerebellum How did a Chinese woman live 24 years missing part of her brain?
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 8:41 PM You’re Cut, Adrian Peterson Why fantasy football owners should release the Minnesota Vikings star.