Newton Suicides: Is High-Achiever School Culture Breaking Our Kids?

Nearly 400 parents attended a community forum on teen suicide at Newton South High School. (Martha Bebinger/WBUR)

Nearly 400 parents attended a community forum on teen suicide at Newton South High School. (Martha Bebinger/WBUR)

Dr. Gonzalo Bacigalupe is the president of the American Family Therapy Academy and a professor in the Department of Counseling and School Psychology at the University of Massachusetts Boston. He’s also a Newton dad, and writes here about the need to address the toxic effects of high-stress school culture and its possible role in recent teen suicides.

In Newton there have been three suicides in less than four months among our high school kids. To us, it feels like an epidemic. In general, the response of the school system has been to provide grief counselors plus meetings to air the sadness and share what the school is doing or plans to do in the future. Experts talk about suicide and psychological problems; they tell us, parents, what we already know: support your kids and be mindful of their mood and behaviors. The message: this is either a mental health problem or a parental issue.

But the school system is not taking responsibility for the stress the kids feel day after day because of the tremendous pressure the Newton high school culture exerts to achieve academically, participate in multiple extracurricular activities, and/or play competitive sports — never just for fun, always to score the best.

Of course, some students put pressure on themselves, and some feel pressure from their parents and peers. But the school system must hold itself accountable for the pressure it puts on its students.

The official message accepts this situation as an individual or family problem, rather than part of a collective narrowness and craze about achievement.

“Who could ever imagine that we’d be back here again under similar circumstances?” asked Newton Public Schools Superintendent David Fleishman Tuesday night as he welcomed nearly 400 parents to another community forum on teen suicide.

In the fall of 2013, some of us did tell him that this could happen again if systemic measures were not taken. I personally wrote him a long letter and forwarded the message to the principal of Newton South High School. In response, I received a thank-you note in which promises were made about the school doing more to support our children.

So just what is the culture of Newton’s public high schools? Despite the communal expressions of grief, this past Monday, the day of the funeral of Roee Grutman, many of his classmates, friends and acquaintances (this is a small high school) did not participate in this important event because most of the school kept all academic activities unchanged, including, for example, mid-year exams.

Despite the message to teachers about allowing students to miss classes, some teachers conducted business as usual. Many students may not have felt free to stand their ground and attend the funeral. They were deprived of participating in a collective healing that cannot be replaced by a session with a school counselor or a mental health practitioner. I know this; I am a psychologist, a family therapist, a public health researcher and a specialist in trauma response.

More generally, kids have so much homework that they don’t have any time to have fun or just chill. The teachers tell parents that the homework should not take more than 30-60 minutes per class, but in reality, work for a single class can take three or more hours. As a result, the kids go to bed extremely late and have to get up extremely early.

The culture of staying up late to study is one of the first things upper-class students tell the younger ones to prepare for. Their senior peers tell them that if they don’t stay up late, they will not perform well.

The teens don’t have time to socialize, to be around their peers, to enjoy family activities. As a result, the whole family feels inadequate. The schools create a context that the research evidence suggests is dangerous to adolescents’ well-being and academic achievement — the presumable goal of the whole system.

Lack of sleep can lead to depression and other serious illnesses. For most of the kids, the feeling is of inadequacy, of never being enough, of never being able to catch up, in a perennial, self-reinforcing process.

According to the latest world educational measures,

 the commonwealth of Massachusetts is rated within the top five highest in the world. Those are averages; it means that in Newton, the scores are much higher. But despite being extremely competitive internationally, the majority of the teens I’ve spoken with in Newton’s high schools feel inadequate and not as bright as the top achievers.

As the years pass, the weekends become study marathons; parents hire tutors and have to deal with irritable adolescents who — particularly the boys — cannot voice what torments them. Many parents are probably also feeling inadequate: If my child’s classmate is going to an Ivy League university or is getting a full sport scholarship, then there must be something wrong in what I am doing, because I have not helped my son achieve as much as the top 10 percent.

Parents are probably the most under-utilized resources in the school system.

One of the experts commented condescendingly in Tuesday’s meeting that suicides are not infectious. Well, they are not infectious diseases in the traditional medical sense, but the question of why suicides repeat is eloquently explained in a recent column citing research: “Suicides happen in clusters, with one person’s suicide influencing the other’s.”

We are devastated. The death of a child is the most devastating situation that any parent could face. My wife and I feel a tremendous sadness for the parents of these three teenagers, the same age as our son. But I am also very angry at the lack of collective response beyond grief and sadness. The official message appears again to continue accepting this situation as an individual or family problem, rather than part of a collective narrowness and craze about achievement.

What can the school system do besides offering crisis intervention and post-trauma counseling?

Families and parents should be invited to provide their views on the impact that the schools have on their children, via open meetings as well as anonymously via online surveys and focus groups. In almost two decades that I’ve observed the school system, I’ve seen that parents are not regularly asked for their input. More opportunities for parents to interact meaningfully rather than just hold speed interviews with teachers once or twice a year could be valuable.

Connecting school and families in more than informational meetings is not a regular practice. The school could also solicit help from the rich expertise among parents, as many communities with high-achieving students do. This is a town with high levels of expertise in so many professional and academic fields. Parents are probably the most underutilized resources in the school system. We are the most invested in the health of our children but often feel outside the decision-making process and treated with condescension. We are here to help. Maybe it is time for our town to join forces with us.

Raising and educating our children cannot be all about getting them into the best school that their SAT scores will allow. Newton’s self-congratulatory stance about its school system cannot stop us from demanding more accountability; we should be the first to stand up and stop this nonsense. If we are to have a great education in our town, we must rethink what it means to educate healthy and thriving people. No high-achievement culture can come at the cost of our beloved children’s lives.

Readers, do you agree that the Newton school culture may be toxic, and more must be done to address that? If so, what?

Further listening: Stress and Consequences for American Teens (On Point)

Further reading: Preventing Suicide: A Toolkit for High Schools

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    to be with Voodoo” CONTACT: DR EKA(dreka14demons@gmail.com)

  • Cassandra

    THIS IS THE BEST THING THAT HAS EVER HAPPEN TO ME, MY LOVER IS FINALLY BACK TO MY LIFE AFTER A LONG BREAK UP. I HAVE BEEN MEETING THE WRONG SPELL CASTERS UNTIL I WAS DIRECTED TO THIS GREAT MAN CALLED DR ZACK BALO. HE IS A VERY SIMPLE AND KIND MAN. HE ASSURED ME OF MY LOVER COMING BACK TO ME WITHIN 3 DAYS, I DOUBTED HIM BECAUSE SO MANY FAKE SPELL CASTERS ALSO GIVE SUCH HOPE. TO MY GREATEST SURPRISE, I GAVE HIM A TRY TO CAST A SPELL FOR ME, MY LOVER CAME BACK TO ME IN LESS THAN 48HOURS WHICH HE PROMISED ME. I WANT TO THANK DR ZACK BALO FOR RESTORING MY LOVE LIFE AND ALSO TO ADVICE EVERYONE SEEKING THE HELP OF A SPELL CASTER TO QUICKLY CONTACT HIM VIA HIS EMAIL wiseindividualspell@gmail.com OR HIS PHONE NUMBER +2348078927387. HE IS THE BEST SPELL CASTER EVER ON EARTH.

  • Cassandra

    THIS IS THE BEST THING THAT HAS EVER HAPPEN TO ME, MY LOVER IS FINALLY BACK TO MY LIFE AFTER A LONG BREAK UP. I HAVE BEEN MEETING THE WRONG SPELL CASTERS UNTIL I WAS DIRECTED TO THIS GREAT MAN CALLED DR ZACK BALO. HE IS A VERY SIMPLE AND KIND MAN. HE ASSURED ME OF MY LOVER COMING BACK TO ME WITHIN 3 DAYS, I DOUBTED HIM BECAUSE SO MANY FAKE SPELL CASTERS ALSO GIVE SUCH HOPE. TO MY GREATEST SURPRISE, I GAVE HIM A TRY TO CAST A SPELL FOR ME, MY LOVER CAME BACK TO ME IN LESS THAN 48HOURS WHICH HE PROMISED ME. I WANT TO THANK DR ZACK BALO FOR RESTORING MY LOVE LIFE AND ALSO TO ADVICE EVERYONE SEEKING THE HELP OF A SPELL CASTER TO QUICKLY CONTACT HIM VIA HIS EMAIL wiseindividualspell@gmail.com OR HIS PHONE NUMBER +2348078927387. HE IS THE BEST SPELL CASTER EVER ON EARTH.

  • redia

    my name is curry i am form u s hlep me thank Dr odudu for bring back ex husband, in two month my later my husband lift me with two kid and for a girl i where comfussed but a friend take me to odudu when i email him he told me my husband well come back in 24hours time befor today my husband came back the great thanks to Dr odudu contact him on oduduspell@gmail.com +2348051913076

    curry from u s a

  • Anderson Miller

    Hello Friends, My name is Hina Khan From Pakistan, I want to use this medium to share with you about the Greatest Spell Caster i encounter, This i Promised him that i was going to do, By Telling the World about him through every possible medium. This Spell caster Broke the barrenness of 22 solid years, and also made my husband to come back to me. My husband left me before as a result of the fact that i could not give him a child, But when i met this Spell Caster, To my greatest surprise, Just as his words drops, That is how it works, I believed every drop of word from his mouth, and now i am a mother of 2 bouncing babies. This Great Spell caster also cure my very sick cousin who was deadly sick, He cures any type of diseases and virus. You can also reach him via email, greatestlordwakaman@gmail.com

    He does not waste time whatsoever he does. He always tell people, once you contact him, He always say you have reach the final bus stop that will bring Solution to your problem. And just as he said, I Khan is a Living Testimony to that today… Do not wait for too long.

  • Taylor Borg

    My name is Taylor Borg,All thanks goes to Dr.Trust for saving my marriage from toning apart.i feel so grateful and only have good words about a powerful spell caster named Dr.Trust who helped me bring back my wife. We had been apart for 4 months, at first I was thinking if I was doing the right thing by contacting a spell caster, but I so much love my wife and won’t give her up for anything in this world. I decided to contact Dr.Trust through his mail address I found on several testifiers messages online,and I told him about my situation, he laughed and told me my wife will be back to me in the next 48 hours. I felt it wasn’t going to happen at first until my wife called me and was so eager to have me back more than anything on earth.. Now we are together and she cant do without me,and both of us are happy. I feel so happy sharing this testimony because there was no negative act attached to his work. His work was smooth and fast. Thanks to Dr.Trust for bringing back happiness to my life. I swear with my life that Dr.Trust is a man to trust and take your problems to. You can contact him on his e-mail if you really truly want your love back. dr.(ULTIMATESPELLCAST@GMAIL.COM OT ULTIMATESPELLCAST@YAHOO.COM TEL: +2348156885231)

  • Carolyn

    Hello every one out here

    Am Lucenira Ferreira, from Brazil, I have be married for nine years my husband and i where living happily and just two months ago my husband meant his ex girl friend whom he had in school days and all of a sudden he started dating her again and he never cared about his family again all he does is to stay late at night and when he come’s back he will just lie to me that he hard some fault with his car,there was this faithful day i caught the both of them in a shop,i walked to them and told the girl to stay of my husband and when he came home that evening he beat me up even despite the fact that i was pregnant he was just kicking and warning me to never point a finger on his girlfriend again,i have suffered too much in the hand of a cheating husband but thank to Dr iayaryi whom i got from a blog site after a long search for a real spell caster i was so happy that he fulfilled all what he said in just less than three days after the spell was cast they quarreled and he broke up with the girl and his senses are fully back and he now care and love me like he have never done before and if you are their suffering from a broken marriage or your husband or ex cheats? you can email (driayaryi2012@hotmail.com) his spells are pure and very powerful without any doubt.

  • Carolyn

    Hello

    Hi My name is “ALINA” just want to share my experience with the world on how i got my love back and saved my marriage… I was married for 4years with 3kids and we lived happily until things started getting ugly and we had a fights and arguments almost every time… it got worse at a point that he filed for divorce… I tried my best to make him change his mind & stay with me cause i loved him with all my heart and didn’t want to loose him but everything just didn’t work out… he moved out of the house and still went ahead to file for divorce… I pleaded and tried everything but still nothing worked. The breakthrough came when someone introduced me to this wonderful, great spell caster called Prophet Lord solutionoflovespelltemple@gmail.com who eventually helped me out… I have never been a fan of things like this but just decided to try reluctantly cause I was desperate and left with no choice… He did special prayers and used roots and herbs… Within 7 days he called me and was sorry for all the emotional trauma he had cost me, moved back to the house and we continue to live happily, the kids are happy too and we are expecting our fourth child… I have introduced him to a lot of couples with problems across the world and they have had good news… Just thought I should share my experience cause I strongly believe someone out there need’s it… You can email him solutionoflovespelltemple@gmail.com … Don’t give up just yet, the different between “Ordinary” & “Extra-Ordinary” is the “Extra” so make extra effort to save your marriage/relationship if it’s truly worth it. his email; solutionoflovespelltemple@gmail.com

  • Carolyn

    Hello every body out there

    My Name is Mrs. Danielle Boodle, I was married to my husband for 10 years and we were both bless with three children, living together as one love, until 2012 when things was no longer the way the was [when he lost his job]. But when he later gets a new job 6 months after, he stated sleeping outside our matrimonial home. Only for me to find out that he was having an affair with the lady that gave he the job. since that day, when i called him, he don’t longer pick up my calls and he nothing since to come out good. Yet my husbands just still keep on seeing the lady. Until I met a very good friend of my who was also having a similar problem, who introduced me to a very good love spell caster. But i told her that if it has to do with things that i am not interested, but she said that it has nothing to do with pay first. but the only thing he was ask to do was just to go and buy the items to cast the spell, and that was what she did. And she gave me the spell caster e-mail address and phone number. When i contacted him, victorylifelovespelltemple@gmail.com, i was so surprise when he said that if i have the faith that i will get my husband back in the nest three [3] day, and off which it was really so. but i was so shock that i did not pay any thing to prophet viky but my husband was on his knells begging me and the children for forgiveness. This testimony is just the price i have to pay. This man Prophet viky is good and he is the author of my happiness. His e-mail address: victorylifelovespelltemple@gmail.com

  • Carolyn

    My Name Angela, from CANADA

    I want to testify of the good work of Dr.omon who helped me in achieving the thing i never thought i was going to have again. i was in a relationship for 4yrs with my boyfriend and everything was going so sweet i loved him and i believed him loved me more than anything in this world after a while i noticed some changes in him so i knew something was wrong i tried to please him in several was but yet no outcome.shortly i noticed he was seeing another girl i tried to make him understand that i loved him so much but he wouldn’t even listen.one day i read a testimony on a similar case a person testifying of the good work of this great Dr.omon even when i did not believe i was convinced by my boyfriend so i contacted him and let him know all my problems and him said i should not worry myself that everything will be okay for me and just like he said in 2days my lover was back to the man i knew before, thanks to you great Dr.omon so if you are going through a similar problem like this just contact him i guarantee you he will help you here,his email: omonualovespelltemple@hotmail.com.

  • Shakes Spear

    My Name is QUEEN.I will love to share my testimony to all the people in the forum cos i never thought i will have my girlfriend back and she means so much to me..The girl i want to get marry to left me 4 weeks to our wedding for another man..,When i called her she never picked my calls,She deleted me on her facebook and she changed her facebook status from married to Single…when i went to her to her place of work she told her boss she never want to see me..I lost my job as a result of this cos i cant get myself anymore,my life was upside down and everything did not go smooth with my life…I tried all i could do to have her back to all did not work out until i met a Man when i Travel to Africa to execute some business have been developing some years back..I told him my problem and all have passed through in getting her back and how i lost my job…he told me he gonna help me…i don’t believe that in the first place.but he swore he will help me out and he told me the reason why my girlfriend left me and also told me some hidden secrets.i was amazed when i heard that from him..he said he will cast a spell for me and i will see the results in the next couple of days..then i travel back to US the following day and i called him when i got home and he said he’s busy casting those spells and he has bought all the materials needed for the spells,he said am gonna see positive results in the next 2 days that is Thursday…My girlfriend called me at exactly 12:35pm on Thursday and apologies for all she had done ..she said,she never knew what she’s doing and her sudden behavior was not intentional and she promised not to do that again.it was like am dreaming when i heard that from her and when we ended the call,i called the man and told him my wife called and he said i haven’t seen anything yet… he said i will also get my job back in 3 days time..and when its Sunday,they called me at my place of work that i should resume working on Monday and they gonna compensate me for the time limit have spent at home without working..My life is back into shape,i have my girlfriend back and we are happily married now with kids and i have my job back too.This man is really powerful..if we have up to 20 people like him in the world,the world would have been a better place..he has also helped many of my friends to solve many problems and they are all happy now..Am posting this to the forum for anybody that is interested in meeting the man for help.you can mail him to shakesspear23@yahoo.com OR shakesspear23@gmail.com I cant give out his number cos he told me he don’t want to be disturbed by many people across the world..he said his email is okay and he’ will replied to any emails asap..hope he helped u out too..good luck:shakesspear23@yahoo.com OR shakesspear23@gmail.com.ONCE AGAIN HIS EMAIL ADDRESS IS: shakesspear23@yahoo.com OR shakesspear23@gmail.com

  • JOES CANDRA

    Joes Candra I am joes candra, I promise to share this testimony all over the world once my boyfriend return back to me, and today with all due respect i want to thank DR.OSAUYI for bringing joy and happiness to my relationship and my family. I want to inform you all that there is a spell caster that is real and genuine. I never believed in any of these things until i loosed my boyfriend, I required help until i found a grate spell caster, And he cast a love spell for me, and he assured me that I will get my boyfriend back in two days after the spell has been cast. Three days later, my phone rang, and so shockingly, it was my boyfriend who has not called me for past 6 years now, and made an apology for the heart break, and told me that he is ready to be my back bone till the rest of his life with me. DR.OSAUYI released him up to know how much i loved and wanted him. And opened his eyes to picture how much we have share together. As I`m writing this testimony right now I`m the most happiest girl on earth and me and my boyfriend is living a happy life and our love is now stronger than how it were even before our break up. So that`s why I promised to share my testimony all over the universe.All thanks goes to DR.OSAUYI for the excessive work that he has done for me. Below is the email address in any situation you are undergoing a heart break, and I assure you that as he has done mine for me, he will definitely help you too. OSAUYILOVESPELL@GMAIL.COM that is his email address bye…….

  • JOES CANDRA

    Joes Candra I am joes candra, I promise to share this testimony all over the world once my boyfriend return back to me, and today with all due respect i want to thank DR.OSAUYI for bringing joy and happiness to my relationship and my family. I want to inform you all that there is a spell caster that is real and genuine. I never believed in any of these things until i loosed my boyfriend, I required help until i found a grate spell caster, And he cast a love spell for me, and he assured me that I will get my boyfriend back in two days after the spell has been cast. Three days later, my phone rang, and so shockingly, it was my boyfriend who has not called me for past 6 years now, and made an apology for the heart break, and told me that he is ready to be my back bone till the rest of his life with me. DR.OSAUYI released him up to know how much i loved and wanted him. And opened his eyes to picture how much we have share together. As I`m writing this testimony right now I`m the most happiest girl on earth and me and my boyfriend is living a happy life and our love is now stronger than how it were even before our break up. So that`s why I promised to share my testimony all over the universe.All thanks goes to DR.OSAUYI for the excessive work that he has done for me. Below is the email address in any situation you are undergoing a heart break, and I assure you that as he has done mine for me, he will definitely help you too. OSAUYILOVESPELL@GMAIL.COM that is his email address bye..

  • JOES CANDRA

    Joes Candra I am joes candra, I promise to share this testimony all over the world once my boyfriend return back to me, and today with all due respect i want to thank DR.OSAUYI for bringing joy and happiness to my relationship and my family. I want to inform you all that there is a spell caster that is real and genuine. I never believed in any of these things until i loosed my boyfriend, I required help until i found a grate spell caster, And he cast a love spell for me, and he assured me that I will get my boyfriend back in two days after the spell has been cast. Three days later, my phone rang, and so shockingly, it was my boyfriend who has not called me for past 6 years now, and made an apology for the heart break, and told me that he is ready to be my back bone till the rest of his life with me. DR.OSAUYI released him up to know how much i loved and wanted him. And opened his eyes to picture how much we have share together. As I`m writing this testimony right now I`m the most happiest girl on earth and me and my boyfriend is living a happy life and our love is now stronger than how it were even before our break up. So that`s why I promised to share my testimony all over the universe.All thanks goes to DR.OSAUYI for the excessive work that he has done for me. Below is the email address in any situation you are undergoing a heart break, and I assure you that as he has done mine for me, he will definitely help you too. OSAUYILOVESPELL@GMAIL.COM that is his email address bye.

  • JOES CANDRA

    Joes Candra I am joes candra, I promise to share this testimony all over the world once my boyfriend return back to me, and today with all due respect i want to thank DR.OSAUYI for bringing joy and happiness to my relationship and my family. I want to inform you all that there is a spell caster that is real and genuine. I never believed in any of these things until i loosed my boyfriend, I required help until i found a grate spell caster, And he cast a love spell for me, and he assured me that I will get my boyfriend back in two days after the spell has been cast. Three days later, my phone rang, and so shockingly, it was my boyfriend who has not called me for past 6 years now, and made an apology for the heart break, and told me that he is ready to be my back bone till the rest of his life with me. DR.OSAUYI released him up to know how much i loved and wanted him. And opened his eyes to picture how much we have share together. As I`m writing this testimony right now I`m the most happiest girl on earth and me and my boyfriend is living a happy life and our love is now stronger than how it were even before our break up. So that`s why I promised to share my testimony all over the universe.All thanks goes to DR.OSAUYI for the excessive work that he has done for me. Below is the email address in any situation you are undergoing a heart break, and I assure you that as he has done mine for me, he will definitely help you too. OSAUYILOVESPELL@GMAIL.COM that is his email address bye

  • annonymous

    For once i have never believe that spell casting posses such powers to bring back ex lover within the speed of light if i must use that word. I am from Aland Island and i am so happy to be on this site to thank the powerful man called DR.ZABAZA. The reason why i am thanking this great man is that he was able to use his powers through spelling casting to restore my broken relationship and with that i was totally satisfied with his service and this is the reason why i am recommending his services to other people out there who are having problems in there relationship to contact DR.ZABAZA on these detail +2348182620374 or through email at zabaza.logan@yahoo.com

  • Berry Logan

    My name is Berry Logan from Canada my boyfriend and I were in love for 3 and half years and we lived together almost 2 and half year. He used to care me more than his own life. He used to love me and take care of me like a baby. Then suddenly he started to act wired since February and broke up with me in two week back saying he has a new girl friend. But again he started to come back to me 6 days but But finally on the 5 day I figured out he was sleeping with that girl and me at the same time. That girl is known as a very bad girl and my boy friend knows that but still he is with her. That’s little unusual for him. It almost feels like someone did something to him. Then I met prophetharryprayerhome@yahoo.com on internet and I told him everything. PROPHET HARRY asked me for my boyfriend photograph then he advised me some remedies and with in a day my boyfriend come back to me and first time he said sorry to me. I am very happy now:His email is: prophetharryprayerhome@yahoo.com

  • annonymous

    If you are looking for a fast means to get your lover back it is simple just contact this powerful spell caster called Dr.Zabaza through these following means via email: zabaza.logan@yahoo.com And through mobile on +2348182620374 This man is so powerful that he is capable to bring back ex lover and restore broken relationship or marriages within the space of 48 hours and his work is great that a lot of people recommend him on social network even Google recommend him as the best spell caster in Africa..

  • james

    I NEVER BELIEVED IN LOVE SPELLS UNTIL I MET THIS WORLD’S TOP SPELL CASTER. HE IS REALLY POWERFUL AND COULD HELP CAST SPELLS TO BRING BACK ONE’S GONE,LOST,MISBEHAVING LOVER AND MAGIC MONEY SPELL OR SPELL FOR A GOOD JOB.I’M NOW HAPPY & A LIVING TESTIMONY COS THE WOMAN I HAD WANTED TO MARRY LEFT ME 2 WEEKS BEFORE OUR WEDDING AND MY LIFE WAS UPSIDE DOWN COS OUR RELATIONSHIP HAS BEEN ON FOR 2YEARS… I REALLY LOVED HIM, BUT HIS MOTHER WAS AGAINST US AND HE HAD NO GOOD PAYING JOB. SO WHEN I MET THIS SPELL CASTER, I TOLD HIM WHAT HAPPENED AND EXPLAINED THE SITUATION OF THINGS TO HIM..AT FIRST I WAS UNDECIDED,SKEPTICAL AND DOUBTFUL, BUT I JUST GAVE IT A TRY. AND IN 7 DAYS WHEN I RETURNED TO USA, MY GIRLFRIEND(NOW WIFE) CALLED ME BY HERSELF AND CAME TO ME APOLOGIZING THAT EVERYTHING HAD BEEN SETTLED WITH HIS MOM AND FAMILY AND SHE GOT A NEW JOB INTERVIEW SO WE SHOULD GET MARRIED..I DIDN’T BELIEVE IT COS THE SPELL CASTER ONLY ASKED FOR MY NAME AND MY GIRLFRIENDS NAME AND ALL I WANTED HIM TO DO… WELL WE ARE HAPPILY MARRIED NOW AND WE ARE EXPECTING OUR LITTLE KID,AND MY WIFE ALSO GOT THE NEW JOB AND OUR LIVES BECAME MUCH BETTER. IN CASE ANYONE NEEDS THE SPELL CASTER FOR SOME HELP, HIS EMAIL ADDRESS IS;okutemple@hotmail.com ……HOPE HE HELPS YOU OUT OUR OPPORTUNITY … CONTACT THIS GREAT SPELL CASTER VIA EMAIL:okutemple@hotmail.com

  • moreen Bonds

    I FOUND A MAN WHO CAST SPELLS WITHIN 24 HOURS
    Hello to every one i want to testify of what a spell caster has done for me,i was in a relationship for two years happy with my partner few months to our wedding he left me and went after another woman he never came back home again, i cry all day looking for help i have contacted so many spell caster but no result one day i was on the internet when i came across a testimony on how DR OYAKHILOMEN helped some one to get back his lover so i gave a try and it work out for me am so happy to have my lover back to my self again thanks once again DR OYAKHILOMEN for helping me to bring back my lover if you are passing through the same problem or any kind of situation and you think all hope is lost my dear is not. contact DR OYAKHILOMEN on his email : oyakhilomenspiritualhome@gmail.com

  • annonymous

    When i see Dr.Zabaza contact details on any site it gives me more joy because that was how i was able to come in contact with Dr.Zabaza and through his help my lover who left me came back to and was begging me to marry him. Without going deep about myself i just want everyone out there to know that Dr.Zabaza is so powerful that he is capable to restore broken relationship within the period of 48 hours. If you doubt my testimony why not contact Dr.Zabaza on these details via phone number +2348182620374 and also via email zabaza.logan@yahoo.com I have contacted him and today i am a living witness about his great powers

  • Ronaldo Spelltemple

    Hello!!! By name am barrack duke from UK…..I was having a long time problem with my wife dew to the conditions of poverty around me then…….my wife decided to leave me and follow someone else because of money…..my life was really frustrated because I was having no Job, no wife and there were no kids……..so I was moving up and down to see if I was coursed or something……

    So on this faithful day I was trying to go through the net and I saw a great testimony of how Dr Ronaldo the great spell caster helped one Miss Judith from holland to solve her family problems……so I decided to take it by faith and contacted same Dr Ronaldo…..and with a great gratitude, he honored my call and I told him the problem I was into and he told me I was at the right solution ground that my sorrows are over from that day ….so I provided the little amount he required to buy some items without complains that he will use for the spell casting…..so he casted a JOB SPELL, MONEY SPELL, AND SPELL TO GET MY WIFE BACK……and to my greatest surprise, I got a JOB @ manchester united that same day, my wife returned and was asking for forgiveness……and now am living in my own house, with my wife, kids, and we are living happily……so all thanks goes to Dr RONALDO…….for solutions to your own problems, I will advice you to send an email to…..(Ronaldospelltemple@gmail.com) or better still call +2348110038610…….I wish you all the best of luck.

  • Dumez Gracy

    Hello every one i am Gracy Dumez a German citizen but with my family here i Canada, i had some problems in my marriage because thought i keep some secrets from him before we get married and i was unable to get pregnant because my husband hate it to sex with me that again develop to my filter problem but before we get married he so much love me and i love him as much so i decide to search for a solution on marriage site and from friends and i find so many spiritual doctors then i contacted three of them one after the other but they all disappointed me till my family seeks for divorce and he happily divorce me because he already find another lady. so while i was alone with pains i still look for solution every where till a meet with a friend of mine that just came from Germany then she direct me to this site where i read about great oshogumspelltemple@live.com on how he solve marriage, relationships, family , healing and so many testimony about him then me and my friend decide to contact despite i he told me about the materials that i must provide i just have to do all that he told me because of what other persons said about him. three days after we have done all he ask me to do, he said he have done everything i did not know how it will work because i could even contact my husband again he already block but i was so sup-rice Hashberg call our home line to ask of me. well we are happily married now with one kids but expecting another one soon. My dear contact oshogumspelltemple@live.com if you have any problem that give you pain. contact oshogumspelltemple@live.com today he is helpful and excellent

  • annonymous

    Most people always believe that people from Africa are always bad intends of using black magic but Dr.Zabaza who is a very powerful spell caster prove me wrong by using his powers through the act of spell casting to bring back my lover who left me some weeks ago. I am so happy to be with my lover once again and i will want to advise those out there to contact Dr.Zabaza on these contact details: zabaza.logan@yahoo.com Or call +2348182620374 Through the help of Dr.Zabaza your lover will come back to you within the period of few days…

    NAME: JONANNY

    CITY: OREGON

    COUNTRY: USA

  • caston

    i am caston by name. Greetings to every one that is reading this testimony. I have been rejected by my husband after six(6) years of marriage just because another woman had a spell on him and he left me and the kid to suffer. one day when I was reading through the web, I saw a post on how this spell caster on this have help a woman to get back her husband and I gave him a reply to his address and he told me that a woman had a spell on my husband and he told me that he will help me and after 3 days that I will have my husband back. I believed him and today I am glad to let you all know that this spell caster have the power to bring lovers back. because I am now happy with my husband. Thanks for any one that may need His help here is the email address trustspelltemple4@gmail.com Dr AGBER OR CALL HI ON HIS MOBILE NUMBER +2348100515075
    ..

  • caston

    i am caston by name. Greetings to every one that is reading this testimony. I have been rejected by my husband after six(6) years of marriage just because another woman had a spell on him and he left me and the kid to suffer. one day when I was reading through the web, I saw a post on how this spell caster on this have help a woman to get back her husband and I gave him a reply to his address and he told me that a woman had a spell on my husband and he told me that he will help me and after 3 days that I will have my husband back. I believed him and today I am glad to let you all know that this spell caster have the power to bring lovers back. because I am now happy with my husband. Thanks for any one that may need His help here is the email address trustspelltemple4@gmail.com Dr AGBER OR CALL HI ON HIS MOBILE NUMBER +2348100515075.

  • caston

    i am caston by name. Greetings to every one that is reading this testimony. I have been rejected by my husband after six(6) years of marriage just because another woman had a spell on him and he left me and the kid to suffer. one day when I was reading through the web, I saw a post on how this spell caster on this have help a woman to get back her husband and I gave him a reply to his address and he told me that a woman had a spell on my husband and he told me that he will help me and after 3 days that I will have my husband back. I believed him and today I am glad to let you all know that this spell caster have the power to bring lovers back. because I am now happy with my husband. Thanks for any one that may need His help here is the email address trustspelltemple4@gmail.com Dr AGBER OR CALL HI ON HIS MOBILE NUMBER +2348100515075

  • annonymous

    I am still very much grateful to that powerful spell caster called Dr.Zabaza who was able to use his powers to bring back my wife who abandoned me and the kids and ran away with her secret lover. The most important reasons why i am writing this testimony now is to let people know that through the powers of Dr.Zabaza my wife came back to me within 48 hours and i want other people who were in my kind of situation to contact Dr.Zabaza through these following details via email: zabaza.logan@yahoo.com and you can still contact Dr.Zabaza via phone number on +2348182620374 to see how powerful Dr.zabaza can be through the process of spell casting

  • https://www.facebook.com/adams.tricail adams trace

    What a beautiful and wonderful testimony some time things you don’t believe can just happen.my name is Adams Trace i am from U.S.A am 25 years old i got married at the age of 24 i have only one child and i was living happily .After one year of my marriage my husband behavior became so strange and i don’t really understand what was going on, he packed out of the house to another woman i love him so much that i never dream’s of losing him, i try my possible best to make sure that my husband get back to me but all to no avail i cry and i cry seeking for help. i discussed it with my best friend and she promise to help me he told me of a man called Dr.ogala, he is a very great man and a real man that can be trusted and there is nothing concerning love issues he cannot do that is why they call him Dr.ogala. I contacted his email address.And i told him everything that happen all he told me that i should not worry that all my problems will be solved immediately. He told me what to do to get my husband back and i did, he said after One hour my husband will come back to me and start begging, it really happen i was very surprise and very, very happy our relationship was now very tight and we both live happily again. So my advice for you now is to contact this same email address:(Holyspellcast@gmail.com, if you are in any kind of situation concerning love issues and any other things that give you problems. He can use his HOLY spell to help you. his web site http://holyspellcast.webs.com and you can also call him +2348072371282 THANKS…..

  • https://www.facebook.com/adams.tricail adams trace

    What a beautiful and wonderful testimony some time things you don’t believe can just happen.my name is Adams Trace i am from U.S.A am 25 years old i got married at the age of 24 i have only one child and i was living happily .After one year of my marriage my husband behavior became so strange and i don’t really understand what was going on, he packed out of the house to another woman i love him so much that i never dream’s of losing him, i try my possible best to make sure that my husband get back to me but all to no avail i cry and i cry seeking for help. i discussed it with my best friend and she promise to help me he told me of a man called Dr.ogala, he is a very great man and a real man that can be trusted and there is nothing concerning love issues he cannot do that is why they call him Dr.ogala. I contacted his email address.And i told him everything that happen all he told me that i should not worry that all my problems will be solved immediately. He told me what to do to get my husband back and i did, he said after One hour my husband will come back to me and start begging, it really happen i was very surprise and very, very happy our relationship was now very tight and we both live happily again. So my advice for you now is to contact this same email address:(Holyspellcast@gmail.com, if you are in any kind of situation concerning love issues and any other things that give you problems. He can use his HOLY spell to help you. his web site http://holyspellcast.webs.com and you can also call him +2348072371282 THANKS….

  • https://www.facebook.com/adams.tricail adams trace

    What a beautiful and wonderful testimony some time things you don’t believe can just happen.my name is Adams Trace i am from U.S.A am 25 years old i got married at the age of 24 i have only one child and i was living happily .After one year of my marriage my husband behavior became so strange and i don’t really understand what was going on, he packed out of the house to another woman i love him so much that i never dream’s of losing him, i try my possible best to make sure that my husband get back to me but all to no avail i cry and i cry seeking for help. i discussed it with my best friend and she promise to help me he told me of a man called Dr.ogala, he is a very great man and a real man that can be trusted and there is nothing concerning love issues he cannot do that is why they call him Dr.ogala. I contacted his email address.And i told him everything that happen all he told me that i should not worry that all my problems will be solved immediately. He told me what to do to get my husband back and i did, he said after One hour my husband will come back to me and start begging, it really happen i was very surprise and very, very happy our relationship was now very tight and we both live happily again. So my advice for you now is to contact this same email address:(Holyspellcast@gmail.com, if you are in any kind of situation concerning love issues and any other things that give you problems. He can use his HOLY spell to help you. his web site http://holyspellcast.webs.com and you can also call him +2348072371282 THANKS…

  • https://www.facebook.com/adams.tricail adams trace

    What a beautiful and wonderful testimony some time things you don’t believe can just happen.my name is Adams Trace i am from U.S.A am 25 years old i got married at the age of 24 i have only one child and i was living happily .After one year of my marriage my husband behavior became so strange and i don’t really understand what was going on, he packed out of the house to another woman i love him so much that i never dream’s of losing him, i try my possible best to make sure that my husband get back to me but all to no avail i cry and i cry seeking for help. i discussed it with my best friend and she promise to help me he told me of a man called Dr.ogala, he is a very great man and a real man that can be trusted and there is nothing concerning love issues he cannot do that is why they call him Dr.ogala. I contacted his email address.And i told him everything that happen all he told me that i should not worry that all my problems will be solved immediately. He told me what to do to get my husband back and i did, he said after One hour my husband will come back to me and start begging, it really happen i was very surprise and very, very happy our relationship was now very tight and we both live happily again. So my advice for you now is to contact this same email address:(Holyspellcast@gmail.com, if you are in any kind of situation concerning love issues and any other things that give you problems. He can use his HOLY spell to help you. his web site http://holyspellcast.webs.com and you can also call him +2348072371282 THANKS..

  • jane smith

    I AM kate… I want to testify of what a spell caster did for me and my hubby.we have been married since 2007 without a sign of pregnancy or conceiving.I went off birth control then and did not have a period.my gyro gave me progesterone to jump-start a period and it did., but i did not have another one.we did another round of progesterone followed by 100mg cycloid for 5 months, we followed all doctors instructions but all to no avail.I have been buying ovulation kits pregnancy test AND i finally got 3 test when i was ovulating! So ever since that we been trying for years now! Well i was very confused because i keep taking em ting test AND they all keep turning out to b negative! I really want a baby girl while my hubby want a baby boy LOLL! I think maybe we are just trying to hard, What i can tell you is that its been so many years now and i still yet do not have my period??nobody to help because every body around us was already at the verge of losing their faith on us.no were to run to until one faithful day i was reading a magazine and i stumble on a page were i found topic or a head line {A PROPHET} who can heal someone from HIV AND AIDS, bring back your EX, enlarge your BREAST, help you win a VISA LOTTERY, losing your WEIGHT and even get six PACKS AND flatten your BELLY, I gave him a try and before i could no it PROPHET MOSES rescue me from my problem by casting a spell for me and told me to go and make love with my hubby, then nine months after the spell and making love with my husband i delivered a twins A BOY AND A GIRL.This spell caster name is PROPHET MOSES so many people have witness his wonderful work..He is nice, contact him on PROPHETMOSESDSAVIOUR@gmail.com if you are in any predicament•Thanks so very much!!

  • Narol Denison

    I want to use this medium to tell the world about Doctor Jatto who helped me in getting my lover back with his powerful spell, my ex and i where having misunderstanding which led to our breakup though i went to beg her several times to please forgive and accept me back because i know i offended her but each time i went i always feel more deeply in pain and agony because she always walk out on me and would not want to listen to what i have to tell but on i faithful day as i was browsing i came arose a testimony of a woman whose problem was more than mine and yet Doctor Jatto helped her with his spell so i was happy and also contacted Doctor Jatto for help via email and then told him my story but the only thing he said was that i will wipe you tear with my spell so lucky for me everything want well just as he promised and right now i have got my fiance back and we are both living happily. there is nothing Doctor Jatto can not do with is spell and just as promise my self i will keep testifying on the internet of how Doctor Jatto helped me.Are your problem greater that mine or less i give you 100% guarantee that Doctor Jatto will put an end to it with his powerful spell, contact Doctor Jatto for help Via email drjattosplltemple@gmail.com

  • Amanda Morelli

    Hi My name is ‘Bruno Rico’ just want to share my experience with the world on how i got my love back and saved my marriage… I was married for 7years with 2kids and we lived happily until things started getting ugly and we had fights and arguments almost every time… it got worse at a point that she filed for divorce… I tried my best to make her change her mind & stay with me cause i loved her with all my heart and didn’t want to loose her but everything just didn’t work out… she moved out of the house and still went ahead to file for divorce… I pleaded and tried everything but still nothing worked. The breakthrough came when someone introduced me to this wonderful, great spell caster who eventually helped me out… I have never been a fan of things like this but just decided to try reluctantly cause I was desperate and left with no choice… He did special prayers and used roots and herbs… Within 7 days she called me and was sorry for all the emotional trauma she had cost me, moved back to the house and we continue to live happily, the kids are happy too and we are expecting our third child. I have introduced him to a lot of couples with problems across the world and they have had good news… Just thought I should share my experience cause I strongly believe someone out there need’s it… You can email him via eromosalspiritualtemple@gmail.com Don’t give up just yet, the different between ‘Ordinary’ & ‘Extra-Ordinary’ is the ‘Extra’ so make extra effort to save your marriage/relationship if it’s truly worth it.

  • Owen Derla

    Hi everyone, I was with my ex girlfriend for 9 yrs we had our ups and downs, happy moments and screaming moments and then one morning she told me it not working anymore. She moved out she went back to her mothers house with my kids and I got an apartment by myself it’s so hard not being with her. My life was displeasing especially when i try every way possible to get her back and all i got is stories of many spell casters which most of them happen to be fake Spell Casters.. I was determine to get her back fast! I convinced myself I could do anything to get her back my own way. So I browse on the internet looking for help bcos my kids need me too. I started reading story’s of Dr. Abby Spell. I’m new on this spell stuff but I finally decided to give it a try and after several email conversation even though he’s always busy he still respond to all my messages!
    Within 3days, I can tell you that his spell was outstanding and i’m so happy that he really help me put our past behind us and we are strong together now and thanks to Dr Abby because he is sacred. You can contact him via sacredspiralgoddesstemple@gmail.com and i will recommend Dr. Abby spells to anyone having problem too.

    Owen Derla, U.K

  • Shakes Spear

    My Name is ADAEZE..I never believed in Love Spells or Magics until I met this special spell caster when i went to Africa to Execute some business..He is really powerful..My wife divorce me with no reason for almost 4 years and i tried all i could to have her back cos i really love her so much but all my effort did not work out.. we met at our early age at the college and we both have feelings for each other and we got married happily for 5 years with no kid and she woke up one morning and she told me she’s going on a divorce..i thought it was a joke and when she came back from work she tender to me a divorce letter and she packed all her loads from my house..i ran mad and i tried all i could to have her back but all did not work out..i was lonely for almost 4 years…So when i told the spell caster what happened he said he will help me and he asked for her full name and her picture..i gave him that..At first i was skeptical but i gave it a try cos h ave tried so many spell casters and there is no solution…so when he finished with the readings,he got back to me that she’s with a man and that man is the reason why she left me…The spell caster said he will help me with a spell that will surely bring her back.but i never believe all this…he told me i will see a positive result within 3 days..3 days later,she called me herself and came to me apologizing and she told me she will come back to me..I cant believe this,it was like a dream cos i never believe this will work out after trying many spell casters and there is no solution..The spell caster is so powerful and after that he helped me with a pregnancy spell and my wife got pregnant a month later..we are now happy been together again and with lovely kid..This spell caster has really changed my life and i will forever thankful to him..he has helped many friends too with similar problem too and they are happy and thankful to him..This man is indeed the most powerful spell caster have ever experienced in life..Am Posting this to the Forum in case there is anyone who has similar problem and still looking for a way out..you can reach him here: shakesspear23@yahoo.com OR shakesspear23@gmail.com…… CONTACT THIS POWERFUL SPELL CASTER TODAY VIA EMAIL:shakesspear23@yahoo.com OR shakesspear23@gmail.com..

  • Shakes Spear

    My Name is QUEEN.I will love to share my testimony to all the people in the forum cos i never thought i will have my girlfriend back and she means so much to me..The girl i want to get marry to left me 4 weeks to our wedding for another man..,When i called her she never picked my calls,She deleted me on her facebook and she changed her facebook status from married to Single…when i went to her to her place of work she told her boss she never want to see me..I lost my job as a result of this cos i cant get myself anymore,my life was upside down and everything did not go smooth with my life…I tried all i could do to have her back to all did not work out until i met a Man when i Travel to Africa to execute some business have been developing some years back..I told him my problem and all have passed through in getting her back and how i lost my job…he told me he gonna help me…i don’t believe that in the first place.but he swore he will help me out and he told me the reason why my girlfriend left me and also told me some hidden secrets.i was amazed when i heard that from him..he said he will cast a spell for me and i will see the results in the next couple of days..then i travel back to US the following day and i called him when i got home and he said he’s busy casting those spells and he has bought all the materials needed for the spells,he said am gonna see positive results in the next 2 days that is Thursday…My girlfriend called me at exactly 12:35pm on Thursday and apologies for all she had done ..she said,she never knew what she’s doing and her sudden behavior was not intentional and she promised not to do that again.it was like am dreaming when i heard that from her and when we ended the call,i called the man and told him my wife called and he said i haven’t seen anything yet… he said i will also get my job back in 3 days time..and when its Sunday,they called me at my place of work that i should resume working on Monday and they gonna compensate me for the time limit have spent at home without working..My life is back into shape,i have my girlfriend back and we are happily married now with kids and i have my job back too.This man is really powerful..if we have up to 20 people like him in the world,the world would have been a better place..he has also helped many of my friends to solve many problems and they are all happy now..Am posting this to the forum for anybody that is interested in meeting the man for help.you can mail him to shakesspear23@yahoo.com OR shakesspear23@gmail.com I cant give out his number cos he told me he don’t want to be disturbed by many people across the world..he said his email is okay and he’ will replied to any emails asap..hope he helped u out too..good luck:shakesspear23@yahoo.com OR shakesspear23@gmail.com.ONCE AGAIN HIS EMAIL ADDRESS IS: shakesspear23@yahoo.com OR shakesspear23@gmail.com

  • Shakes Spear

    Reading SLY SLIMMERS article about a spell caster namely Shakes Spear was, i will say the best that ever happen to me this year based on the fact that i had a lot problem that i was trying to over come.I had problems at home which affected my work greatly. I was now always in a cross fire with my boss.I really don’t want to tell story here so i guess i would just go strange to the point on what i have to say.My wife wanted out of our marriage for no just reason.We were married for four year and i think we were happy though we had no kids, it was her idea not to have any cos she wasn’t ready to be a mom yet and i was okay with it i mean i didn’t like the idea but i went along with it just to please her.It was always like that i mean she always get what she wants.All i wanted was to see her happy i could never do anything that will make her so unhappy.This was all i did wrong that is make her have it her way all the time. I mean that was the reason she gave during our therapy session.She wanted out of the marriage cos i was to nice. From what she said, i was the kind of man ever woman will die for but she wanted a real man to enforce his will no her meaning was i was to week a man for her.And that was the least of therapy session we had cos like she said we where wasting our life together and no amount of therapy was going to get us back together.I was a total mess thinking of how i was being dumped based on how much i loved my wife and how good i treated her,I really didn’t know if she was ungrateful or just confused about what she wanted that is mid-life crisis but the bottom line is that she left me and who knows maybe for another man.I was still in love with her, she was the love of my life and i still wanted her to come back that was when i saw Eva-Yolanda article on Shakes Spear.When i contacted him he made me known that i will have to go through all the spell casting process.Like he said most people are too scared cos of trust issues.I had trust issues, but getting my wife back was my ulterior motive and from my experience with Shakes Spear i can tell you he is 100% truthful and honest with his customer.I was asked to get some material to prepare the spell and after which he sent me a package contain the spell and the rest just happen the way it was suppose to happen i got my wife back and she was my wife back again i mean she was not that woman who wanted a hard man she was woman i fell in love with who loved me cos i am me.If you want help or fell he can help contact him with his email address shakesspear23@yahoo.com OR shakesspear23@gmail.com….. ONCE AGAIN HIS EMAIL ADDRESS IS: shakesspear23@yahoo.com OR shakesspear23@gmail.com

  • Ronaldo Spelltemple

    Hello my name is Judith from Holland
    i know of
    a spell caster
    who helped me when i had problem
    with
    my husband if you
    need a right place to solve your
    problems
    contact DR
    Ronaldo SPELL TEMPLE is the right
    choice. he is a
    great man that have been casting
    spells with
    years of
    experience. he cast spells for different
    purposes like
    (1) If you want your ex back.
    (2) if you always have bad dreams.
    (3) You want to be promoted in your
    office.
    (4) You want women/men to run after
    you.
    (5) If you want a child.
    (6) You want to be rich.
    (7) You want to tie your husband/wife
    to be
    yours forever.
    (8) If you need financial assistance.
    (9) Herbal care
    (10) If you can be able to satisfy your
    wife
    sex desire due
    to low err action.
    (11) if your menstruation refuse to
    come
    out the day it
    suppose or over flows.
    (12) if your work refuse to pay your,
    people
    owing you?.
    (13) solve a land issue and get it back.
    (14) Did your family Denny you of
    your
    right?
    (15) Let people obey my words and do
    my
    which.
    (16) Do you have a low sperm count?
    (17) Case solve E.T.C
    free to contact him at
    Ronaldospelltemple@gmail.com and
    tell him what you need to be solved.

  • Frank Marian Frank Marian

    Great Thanks to Dr Oduduwa for helping me when i needed help.
    My name is Gabriel Anderson from USA I never believe in love spells until I experience Dr. DR Oduduwa temple, and after he cast a love spell for me my Ex called me to apologize for the pain that she has caused me and till today we are living a happy family, if you need a right place to solve your problems
    contact DROduduwa (dr.oduduwasamuelhightemple@gmail.com) is the right choice. he is a great man that have been casting spells with years of experience, he cast spells for different purposes like:

    (1)If you want your ex back.
    (2) if you always have bad dreams.
    (3)You want to be promoted in your office.
    (4)You want women/ men to run after you.
    (5)If you want a child.
    (6)[You want to be rich.
    (7)You want to tie your husband/wife to be yours
    forever.
    (8)If you need financial assistance.
    (9)Herbal care

    Contact him today on: dr.oduduwasamuelhightemple@gmail.com

  • Robin Laura

    My name is Laura Robin i read some testimony about Dr PALOMA on how he has helped them in bringing back there ex within 48 hours i was just thinking if that was real, I never believed in love spells or magic until i met this spell caster once when i went to Nigeria in February this year on a business summit. I meant a man who’s name is DR.PALOMA he is really powerful and could help cast spells to bring back one’s gone, lost, misbehaving lover and magic money spell or spell for a good job or luck spell .I’m now happy & a living testimony cos the man i had wanted to marry left me 4 weeks before our wedding and my life was upside down cos our relationship has been on for 4years. I really loved him, but his mother was against us and he had no good paying job. So when i met this spell caster, i told him what happened and explained the situation of things to him. At first i was undecided, skeptical and doubtful, but i just gave it a try. And in 7 days when i returned to Canada, my boyfriend (now husband) called me by himself and came to me apologizing that everything had been settled with his mom and family and he got a new job interview so we should get married. I didn’t believe it cos Dr PALOMA only asked for my name and my boyfriends name and all i wanted him to do. Well we are happily married now and we are expecting our little kid, and my husband also got the new job and our lives became much better. His email is: palomaspelltemple@yahoo.com.

  • Robin Laura

    My name is Laura Robin i read some testimony about Dr PALOMA on how he has helped them in bringing back there ex within 48 hours i was just thinking if that was real, I never believed in love spells or magic until i met this spell caster once when i went to Nigeria in February this year on a business summit. I meant a man who’s name is DR.PALOMA he is really powerful and could help cast spells to bring back one’s gone, lost, misbehaving lover and magic money spell or spell for a good job or luck spell .I’m now happy & a living testimony cos the man i had wanted to marry left me 4 weeks before our wedding and my life was upside down cos our relationship has been on for 4years. I really loved him, but his mother was against us and he had no good paying job. So when i met this spell caster, i told him what happened and explained the situation of things to him. At first i was undecided, skeptical and doubtful, but i just gave it a try. And in 7 days when i returned to Canada, my boyfriend (now husband) called me by himself and came to me apologizing that everything had been settled with his mom and family and he got a new job interview so we should get married. I didn’t believe it cos Dr PALOMA only asked for my name and my boyfriends name and all i wanted him to do. Well we are happily married now and we are expecting our little kid, and my husband also got the new job and our lives became much better. His email is: palomaspelltemple@yahoo.com
    .

  • Jackie Ryan

    My name is Jackie Ryan from USA. I am here to let you know that what people say about getting back their ex may seem impossible, but with what you believe, nothing is impossible. I made a promise to Dr. Dele and to myself that when he restores my marriage, I would testify and tell the world hoping that I would someday be able to bring some kind of help for a hurting wife, husband, girlfriend or boyfriend who would have been going through what I once was.

    We had some in-law issues which contributed greatly to our demise before I contacted Dr. Dele from posts I read on a blog. Dr. Dele showed up and calmed every storm, he brought peace to everybody. We are all happy and eat together in the same table today. God bless you Dr. Dele. Contact him immediately for help via dr.delespiritualtemple@gmail.com

  • Oyakhilomen lovespell

    HOW DR OYAKHILOMEN HELPED ME GET MY EX BACK
    I AM AMANDA MORELLI my husband dumped me 9(nine) months ago after I accused him of seeing another girl. I wanted him back in my life but he refused to have any contact with me. He changed his mobile number, blocked me from sending him mails and even on facebook. I was so confused and lost concentration that made me lose my job, it was disastrous. I kept seeing on several blogs how a spell caster keeps helping people get their ex back and I contacted this spell caster called DR OYAKHILOMEN for help, he assured me in 48hours that my ex will return to me, and to my greatest surprise my ex called me for the first time since we broke up. I am so happy that my love is back again, we are now happier than ever and I have gotten a job far better than my previous one, once again thank you DR OYAKHILOMEN , you are truly gifted and powerful. Email this wonderful man on oyakhilomenspiritualhome@gmail.com. He is the only answer to your problems. He can be of great help and I will not stop publishing his name for the good work he did for me . again his email address is:
    oyakhilomenspiritualhome@gmail.com

  • Mandy Divanna

    GOOGLE RECOMMENDED ME DR.UKAKA THE BEST SPELL CASTER IN THIS YEAR

    Hello to every one out here, am here to share the unexpected miracle that happened to me three days ago, My name is Laura Zamora i live in United State,and I`m happily married to a lovely and caring husband,with two kids A very big problem occurred in my family seven months ago,between me and my husband so terrible that she took the case to court for a divorce he said that he never wanted to stay with me again,and that he did not love me anymore So he packed out of the house and made me and my children passed through severe pain. I tried all my possible means to get him back,after much begging,but all to no avail and he confirmed it that he has made his decision,and he never wanted to see me again. So on one evening,as i was coming back from work,i met an old friend of mine who asked of my husband So i explained every thing to her,so she told me that the only way i can get my husband back,is to visit a spell caster,because it has really worked for her too So i never believed in spell,but i had no other choice,than to follow her advice. Then she gave me the email address of the spell caster whom she visited.(freedomlovespell@hotmail.com}, So the next morning,i sent a mail to the address she gave to me,and the spell caster assured me that i will get my husband back the next day what an amazing statement!! I never believed,so he spoke with me,and told me everything that i need to do. Then the next morning, So surprisingly, my husband who did not call me for the past seven {7}months,gave me a call to inform me that he was coming back So Amazing!! So that was howhe came back that same day,with lots of love and joy,and she apologized for her mistake,and for the pain she caused me and my children. Then from that day,our relationship was now stronger than how it were before,by the help of a spell caster . So, i will advice you out there to kindly visit the same website {freedomlovespell@hotmail.com},i f you are in any condition like this,or you have any problem related to “bringing your ex back. So thanks to Dr Ukaka for bringing back my husband,and brought great joy to my family once again.(freedomlovespell@hotmail.com}, Thanks..

  • james

    I NEVER BELIEVED IN LOVE SPELLS UNTIL I MET THIS WORLD’S TOP SPELL CASTER. HE IS REALLY POWERFUL AND COULD HELP CAST SPELLS TO BRING BACK ONE’S GONE,LOST,MISBEHAVING LOVER AND MAGIC MONEY SPELL OR SPELL FOR A GOOD JOB.I’M NOW HAPPY & A LIVING TESTIMONY COS THE WOMAN I HAD WANTED TO MARRY LEFT ME 2 WEEKS BEFORE OUR WEDDING AND MY LIFE WAS UPSIDE DOWN COS OUR RELATIONSHIP HAS BEEN ON FOR 2YEARS… I REALLY LOVED HIM, BUT HIS MOTHER WAS AGAINST US AND HE HAD NO GOOD PAYING JOB. SO WHEN I MET THIS SPELL CASTER, I TOLD HIM WHAT HAPPENED AND EXPLAINED THE SITUATION OF THINGS TO HIM..AT FIRST I WAS UNDECIDED,SKEPTICAL AND DOUBTFUL, BUT I JUST GAVE IT A TRY. AND IN 7 DAYS WHEN I RETURNED TO USA, MY GIRLFRIEND(NOW WIFE) CALLED ME BY HERSELF AND CAME TO ME APOLOGIZING THAT EVERYTHING HAD BEEN SETTLED WITH HIS MOM AND FAMILY AND SHE GOT A NEW JOB INTERVIEW SO WE SHOULD GET MARRIED..I DIDN’T BELIEVE IT COS THE SPELL CASTER ONLY ASKED FOR MY NAME AND MY GIRLFRIENDS NAME AND ALL I WANTED HIM TO DO… WELL WE ARE HAPPILY MARRIED NOW AND WE ARE EXPECTING OUR LITTLE KID,AND MY WIFE ALSO GOT THE NEW JOB AND OUR LIVES BECAME MUCH BETTER. IN CASE ANYONE NEEDS THE SPELL CASTER FOR SOME HELP, HIS EMAIL ADDRESS IS;okutemple@hotmail.com ……HOPE HE HELPS YOU OUT OUR OPPORTUNITY … CONTACT THIS GREAT SPELL CASTER VIA EMAIL:okutemple@hotmail.com

  • USER1

    i am here to give testimony of how i got back my husband, we got married for more than 9 years and have gotten two kids. thing were going well with us and we are always happy. until one day my husband started to behave in a way i could not understand, i was very confused by the way he treat me and the kids. later that month he did not come home again and he called me that he want a divorce, i asked him what have i done wrong to deserve this from him, all he was saying is that he want a divorce that he hate me and do not want to see me again in his life, i was mad and also frustrated do not know what to do,i was sick for more than 2 weeks because of the divorce. i love him so much he was everything to me without him my life is incomplete. i told my sister and she told me to contact a spell caster, i never believe in all this spell casting of a thing. i just want to try if something will come out of it. i contacted Dr papa for the return of my husband to me, they told me that my husband have been taken by another woman, that she cast a spell on him that is why he hate me and also want us to divorce. then they told me that they have to cast a spell on him that will make him return to me and the kids, they casted the spell and after 1 week my husband called me and he told me that i should forgive him, he started to apologize on phone and said that he still live me that he did not know what happen to him that he left me. it was the spell that he Dr papa casted on him that make him comeback to me today,me and my family are now happy again today. thank you Dr Papa for what you have done for me i would have been nothing today if not for your great spell. i want you my friends who are passing through all this kind of love problem of getting back their husband, wife , or ex boyfriend and girlfriend to contact supremetemple@hotmail.com and you will see that your problem will be solved without any delay.

  • clara

    I am Clara from Jakarta in Indonesia. I had a problem i could not give birth for ten years of marriage but today Dr. akpos help me and am happy mother of twins glory be God and thanks to my sister in-law for using Dr. akpos to deliver me.
    You can contact him via this email address dr.okpospellhome@gmail.com or call +2347065630841

  • Frank Marian Frank Marian

    My name is John Sheri i’m from California i have been married for 4years and i have a break up with my husband 3months ago and i was worried and so confuse because i love him so much. i was really going too depressed and a friend directed me to this spell caster Dr. Laco and i made all my problems known to him and he told me not to worry that he was going to make my husband to come back to me and in just 48hours i receive a call from my husband and he was appealing that i should come back to the house. i have never in my life believe in spell and but now it have just helped me and i am now so happy. All Thanks to him and if you also want to have your Husband back to yourself here !! his email Address lacopowerfulspellcaster@yahoo.com i am so happy to testify of your work and kindness

  • sophia andres

    Hello I am Sophia Andres, I am out here to spreed this
    good news to the entire world on how I got my ex love back.I was going
    crazy when my love left me for another girl last month, But when i met the website of Dr Ikuku
    http://ultimatesolutioncenter.webs.com the great messenger to the
    oraclet how my
    ex love left me and also how i needed to that he serve,I narrated my problem to Dr Ikuku about a job in a very big
    company.He only said to me that i have come to the right place were i
    will be getting my heart desire without any side effect.He told me what i
    need to do,After it was been done,In the next 12 hours,My love called
    me on the phone and was saying sorry for living me before now and also
    in the next one week after my love called me to be pleading for
    forgiveness,I was called for an interview in my desired company were i
    needed to work as the managing director..I am so happy and overwhelmed
    that i have to tell this to the entire world to contact Dr Ikuku at
    the following email address and get all your problem solve..No problem
    is too big for him to solve..Contact him direct on: ultimatesolutioncenter@gmail.com or call him on +2348104181322 and get your problems solved like me….. ONCE AGAIN HIS EMAIL ADDRESS IS: ultimatesolutioncenter@gmail.com or contact him through his website at http://ultimatesolutioncenter.webs.com. he is real and very powerful to help.

    Dr Ikuku Mobile Number: +2348104181322
    Email: ultimatesolutioncenter@gmail.com

  • annonymous

    Without Dr.Zabaza a lot of people would have been dead through heart break. My case is not different from heart break, I am married woman with 3 kids and there was a time when i was having problem with my husband because he was having an affair outside our marriage and this was making me feel bad. So i tried finding solution to my problem by reading a lot of relationship tips on the internet and that was how i came in contact with Dr.Zabaza contact details and through the help of Dr.Zabaza my husband left the girl he was having affair with and he came back to me and our kids. After a job well done by Dr.Zabaza i felt that it will be unfair if i keep this secret to myself and that is why i am going to drop the contact details of Dr.Zabaza right now, They are: zabaza.logan@yahoo.com or call +2348182620374 To enable you have a taste of his nice work

  • annonymous

    What do i stand for in this world without my lover by my side?, This was the taught that was running through my mind when my lover departed from me. You know one thing i believe in is that once you are having problems that are bringing you down God always use people to raise you up. In my case it was Dr.Zabaza that was used in helping me get my lover back, Since the help of Dr.Zabaza i must say that my relationship has been filled with more love and as a matter of fact my lover will be taking me to Brazil to watch the world cup with him. So you see this is the more reason why i must thank Dr.Zabaza and the more reason why i must put his details on this site to enable other people contact him. Call +2348182620374 or via email zabaza.logan@yahoo.com

  • http://www.military.com/spouse/military-deployment/reintegration/returning-to-home-life-after-deployment.html amazing testimony

    How To Stop A Divorce And Save Your Marriage?(Dr.Brave).

    Hello to every one out here, am here to share the unexpected miracle that happened to me three days ago, My name is Jeffrey Dowling,i live in TEXAS,USA.and I`m happily married to a lovely and caring wife,with two kids A very big problem occurred in my family seven months ago,between me and my wife so terrible that she took the case to court for a divorce she said that she never wanted to stay with me again,and that she did not love me anymore So she packed out of my house and made me and my children passed through severe pain. I tried all my possible means to get her back,after much begging,but all to no avail and she confirmed it that she has made her decision,and she never wanted to see me again. So on one evening,as i was coming back from work,i met an old friend of mine who asked of my wife So i explained every thing to her,so she told me that the only way i can get my wife back,is to visit a spell caster,because it has really worked for her too So i never believed in spell,but i had no other choice,than to follow her advice. Then she gave me the email address of the spell caster whom she visited.(bravespellcaster@gmail.com}, So the next morning,i sent a mail to the address she gave to me,and the spell caster assured me that i will get my wife back the next day what an amazing statement!! I never believed,so he spoke with me,and told me everything that i need to do. Then the next morning, So surprisingly, my wife who did not call me for the past seven {7}months,gave me a call to inform me that she was coming back So Amazing!! So that was how she came back that same day,with lots of love and joy,and she apologized for her mistake,and for the pain she caused me and my children. Then from that day,our relationship was now stronger than how it were before,by the help of a spell caster So, i will advice you out there to kindly visit the same website http://bravespellcaster.yolasite.com,i f you are in any condition like this,or you have any problem related to “bringing your ex back. So thanks to Dr Brave for bringing back my wife,and brought great joy to my family once again.{bravespellcaster@gmail.com} , Thanks..

  • Selina Jackson

    My Husband has been a caring and a loving father to our two beautiful daughters for the past 10 years of our marriage; most of my close friends even envy our unending love that grows stronger everyday like we just met ;). The bad side of him started when his sick Mum visited us for treatments. His Mum was not comfortable around us because my Husband pays more attention to me and the kids; this made her so angry and decided to stay for short time.

    My husband suddenly changed and started avoiding me a week she left, he stopped eating my food and don’t sleep with me again on the same bed. This lasted for 3 months until I cannot hold it again. So I decide to seek for help online because I was ashamed to tell my friends, then I got Dr.abacha’s email from testimonies and explained everything to him. He consulted his Oracle and told me that my Mother-in-law had bewitched my husband; she took my husband’s underwear to a witch doctor and poisoned his mind toward me. Dr. abacha then told me to paid some money for the items he we use to perform the sacrifice to his oracle so that the spell can work and broke the evil spirit my mother in law bewitched my husband with and cast the love spell for us.

    I am happy today because my husband is now the loving man I have known for the past 10years and his Mum confessed before she died last month. We are more in love now and happy. The spell does not have side effect on our family but it even brought many missed opportunities to us. Contact Dr. abacha now via his email on: abachasolutiontemple367@gmail.com for a solution to that your problem you think is beyond solve right now also you can call he any time any day for marriage advice and concealing at his private number which is +2348132571730 you are WELCOME

  • annonymous

    I still can’t believe that just within 48 hours that Dr.Zabaza was going to make it possible for my lover to come back to me, I am Lorna but i am not going to talk much about myself rather i am going to write about the powers of Dr.Zabaza. When i contacted Dr.Zabaza on the 28th of May 2014 i never knew he was this powerful but after telling him my problems he told me that everything is going to be okay then just 48 hours later everything worked out just has Dr.Zabaza said it will be and the great part is that my lover is back and i want to let people know that once they need help on getting their lover back they should contact Dr.Zabaza on these details +2348182620374 or via email at zabaza.logan@yahoo.com because he is the best person to help you in terms of relationship matters

  • http://www.military.com/spouse/military-deployment/reintegration/returning-to-home-life-after-deployment.html amazing testimony

    An amazing testimony on a spell caster who brought my wife back to me,my name is William David,i live in Maryland/USA,and I’m happily married to a lovely and caring wife,with two kids.A very big problem occurred in my family seven months ago,between me and my wife.so terrible that she took the case to court for a divorce.she said that she never wanted to stay with me again,and that she didn’t love me anymore.So she packed out of my house and made me and my children passed through severe pain. I tried all my possible means to get her back,after much begging,but all to no avail.and she confirmed it that she has made her decision,and she never wanted to see me again.So on one evening,as i was coming back from work,i met an old friend of mine who asked of my wife.So i explained every thing to her,so she told me that the only way i can get my wife back,is to visit a spell caster,because it has really worked for her too.So i never believed in spell,but i had no other choice,than to follow her advice. Then she gave me the email address of the spell caster whom she visited.{bravespellcaster@gmail.com}So the next morning,i sent a mail to the address she gave to me,and the spell caster assured me that i will get my wife back the next day.What an amazing statement!! I never believed,so he spoke with me,and told me everything that i need to do. Then the next morning, So surprisingly, my wife who didn’t call me for the past seven {3}months,gave me a call to inform me that she was coming back.So Amazing!! So that was how she came back that same day,with lots of love and joy,and she apologized for her mistake,and for the pain she caused me and my children. Then from that day,our relationship was now stronger than how it were before,by the help of a spell caster.So, i will advice you out there to kindly visit this great man called Dr.Brave,if you are in any condition like this,or you have any problem related to “bringing your ex back. So thanks to the bravespellcaster@gmail.com for bringing back my wife,and brought great joy to my family once again. {bravespellcaster@gmail.com} Thanks…

  • Carolyn

    Good day,,,,
    My name is Tugas swanky am from Germany, am a woman who love and cherish my husband more than any other thing you can imagine on earth continent. My husband was so lovely and caring after 3years of marriage he was seriously ill and the doctor confirm and said he has a kidney infection that he needed a kidney donor, that was how I start searching for a good Samaritan who can help,doctor has given me a periodic hour that he will live just 26hours left, that was how I ask the doctor if I can be of help to my husband that was how he carried out the text,the confirming was successful, I was now having this taught that since 3 years now we got married I have not be able to get pregnant can I be able to get bring again? That was the question I ask the doctor, he never answer his response was did you want to lost your husband? I immediately reply no I can’t afford to loose him. After the operation my husband came back to live and was healthy I was also ok with the instruction given to me by the doctor, after 3months my husband came home with another lady telling me, that is our new wife that will give us kids and take care of us, that was how I was confused and started crying all day, that was how my husband ran away with his new wife cluaralle. Since then I was confuse don’t no what to do that was how I went back to the doctor and tell him everything, he told me that, this is not just an ordinary it must be a spiritual problem that was how he gave me this email (driayaryi2012@hotmail.com) that I should tell her all my problem that she can help that was how i contacted her and I do as instructed. After 3days and I have done what she ask me to do, my husband start searching for me and went back to the doctor, that was how we well settle she also told me not to worry that I will get pregnant, this month making it the fifth Month I contacted her am now 3months pregnant. These great spell cater is a great man, if you are any kind of problem you can contact him here on his email (driayaryi2012@hotmail.com)

  • Carolyn

    My name is Mark Belches from Canada these is the real powerful spell caster of 2014 I don’t just know how to start am just short of word’s and happy that am with my wife,Due to the help of solutionoflovespelltemple@gmail.com,This great and powerful spell cast, Prophet Lord has brought back happiness into my life that i have lacked for years,Am just so happy today and today has been the happiest day of my life and this happiness has brought me joy and am so happy, Because solutionoflovespelltemple@gmail.com has brought back my lover Nicol Mark into my arms without any delay, After my lover left me for good 5months,i was in deep pain and always thinking because i truly loved Nicol Mark,Until a faithful day listen to the radio due to boredom,Then in which i had a lady shouting in happiness about the great things solutionoflovespelltemple@gmail.com [1] has done how these powerful and great woman brought back her lover back into her arms within 36 hours, when i had that goodness i decided in contacting solutionoflovespelltemple@gmail.com [2] immediately,Because i was desperate in getting in touch with her,So i got in touch with her,Which then i told her my problem and she promised in bringing back my wife back to my arms within 24hours,And then when i had that my wife would be back to my arms within 24hours i was so happy and waiting to feel her, And really Nicol Mark came into my arms within 24hours,Begging me for forgiveness,i was so happy when i saw her, now my lover is fully back to my arms due to the help of this great Prophet Lord, who has bought back happiness into our great country(U S A) Please friends in need of help you don’t need to go far all you need to do is for you to kindly contact These powerful spell for help,Because she is trustworthy and straight forward,You can contact him private mail,solutionoflovespelltemple@gmail.com

  • Carolyn

    THE GREAT Dr Omon of omonualovespelltemple@hotmail.com [1] BROUGHT MY HUSBAND BACK TO ME IN JUST A ONE DAY.
    My name is Ajeshni Prasad I live in California, i got married 4months ago. My husband and I have been living a very happy and lovely life. So as time went on, I began to notice this strange attitude that he was possessing. He was now going out with other girls, to the extent that he was no longer picking up my calls, and he was not even sleeping in my house anymore. I became confused and didn’t know what to do anymore. So i became worried and stranded, that brought so many thoughts into my mind, because I have never experienced a thing like this before in my life. So I decided to visit a spell caster, to see if he can help me out. So immediately I went to the internet, where I saw an amazing testimony of a spell caster who brought someone’s ex lover back,so I contacted him immediately and I explained to him all my problems and he told me that it will be very easy for him to solve, compare to the ones he has done before. And he also gave me some proof to be really sure of his work, and he assured me that my husband will come back to me immediately after he is through with the spell casting. And also he told me to put all my trust in him, and I really obeyed him. So it was 8:00 am on the next morning, when I was about going to work, when i received my husband’s call, and he told me that he was coming back home, and he apologized to me, and told me that he is very sorry for the pain that he has cost me. And after some hours later, he really came back home, and that was how we continued our marriage with lots of love and happiness, and our love was now stronger than how it were before. And these great man also told me that once my heart desire has been granted unto me that i should go and testify of his work right here on the internet. Right now I am the happiest woman on earth today as I am writing this testimony, and I want to really thank omonualovespelltemple@hotmail.com [2] for bringing back my husband, and for bringing joy and love to my family.so you all there having difficulties or the other don,t worry every thing will be fine So my greatest advice for you out there who your husband or your wife is acting strange or behaving the same way like this, or you have any problem with your relationship or anything related to do with spell casting, is for you to go and visit this great and powerful spell caster anytime, and i assure you that he will be of help to you, and I am 100% sure that he will solve it out.once again contact him on these email now…omonualovespelltemple@hotmail.com

  • Carolyn

    Hello,
    Name Debbie brown, from United Kingdom At the age of 21, I had just ended a 5 year destructive and emotionally abusive relationship. I had lost my first love and I thought my world would end and that I was going to be single forever. I had convinced myself that I wasn’t worthy of any good person and that my fairy tale dream would never come true… 4 years later I met the man of my dreams, love at first sight and totally swept off my feet! The previous 21 years were a blur and my fairy tale began… 3 years later – I am happily married to a gem of a husband with a beautiful baby girl… All of a sudden a woman came into the question and took my man all the story started again but this time i decided to fight for what was time and was not ready to let go of my man and the father of my daughter. on this faithful day on one of my adventures on the internet i saw the contact of Prophet Vicky contacted him and i am happy to say after 48 hrs my man came back and its been a years plus now and we have been living happily just using this testimony to say a big thank you and to also give out the contact of Prophet Vicky which are : E mail victorylifelovespelltemple@gmail.com

  • Carolyn

    Am, Victoria Hogain,
    Subject: spell caster helped me gain back my husband
    i never thought my dream would ever come true. this is a testimony of how a spell caster helped me gain back my husband. my husband left me and my kids for 3years with a strange woman, after spending so much money trying to get him back i met with different spell casters but they couldn’t help me so i tried online help, that was when i met with Prophet Dr Favour, he assured me that my husband would come back but i doubted him at first because of my past experience with various spell casters. In less than 2weeks after i met Dr Favour, my husband who had left me and my kids without a phone call for 3years called me, i told Dr Favour, about it and he told me that my husband would come back to me before the easter celebration i believed him. my husband called me and said he was very sorry for leaving me and my kids and he was coming back to us. as i testify now i am happily settled with my husband and kids. All thanks to Dr Favour, and you can contact him on favourlovespelltemple@gmail.com

  • caston

    i am caston by name. Greetings to every one that is reading this testimony. I have been rejected by my husband after six(6) years of marriage just because another woman had a spell on him and he left me and the kid to suffer. one day when I was reading through the web, I saw a post on how this spell caster on this have help a woman to get back her husband and I gave him a reply to his address and he told me that a woman had a spell on my husband and he told me that he will help me and after 3 days that I will have my husband back. I believed him and today I am glad to let you all know that this spell caster have the power to bring lovers back. because I am now happy with my husband. Thanks for His email:trustspelltemple4@gmail.com Dr AGBER OR CALL HIM ON HIS MOBILE NUMBER +2348100515075..

  • caston

    i am caston by name. Greetings to every one that is reading this testimony. I have been rejected by my husband after six(6) years of marriage just because another woman had a spell on him and he left me and the kid to suffer. one day when I was reading through the web, I saw a post on how this spell caster on this have help a woman to get back her husband and I gave him a reply to his address and he told me that a woman had a spell on my husband and he told me that he will help me and after 3 days that I will have my husband back. I believed him and today I am glad to let you all know that this spell caster have the power to bring lovers back. because I am now happy with my husband. Thanks for His email:trustspelltemple4@gmail.com Dr AGBER OR CALL HIM ON HIS MOBILE NUMBER +2348100515075.

  • caston

    i am caston by name. Greetings to every one that is reading this testimony. I have been rejected by my husband after six(6) years of marriage just because another woman had a spell on him and he left me and the kid to suffer. one day when I was reading through the web, I saw a post on how this spell caster on this have help a woman to get back her husband and I gave him a reply to his address and he told me that a woman had a spell on my husband and he told me that he will help me and after 3 days that I will have my husband back. I believed him and today I am glad to let you all know that this spell caster have the power to bring lovers back. because I am now happy with my husband. Thanks for His email:trustspelltemple4@gmail.com Dr AGBER OR CALL HIM ON HIS MOBILE NUMBER +2348100515075

  • Hansford ann

    My name is Handford Ann,i base in canada.i want to share my wonderful testimony on how i got back my ex-lover of my life back, who i sworn to be with until when he left me to another woman for no reason and i try to make things work for both of us yet things where getting worse and i love him so much and there is nothing i could do to get my ex back until i met a testimony share by Maria from USA on the internet talking about a powerful spell caster who brought his ex lover back within 48hours and i decide to give it a try and to my greatest surprise he also did it for me just as he did for Maria and i have a lot of people complaining of fake spell caster but this one i met was a real spell caster who help me to solve my problem i have no solution to,i introduce many of my best friends that have a similar problems,and their problem were solve with the great help of dr.Trust.they get back their ex within 48 hours.i am so happy that my ex is back to me again,and the most surprise,is that our love is very strong,every day is happiness and joy. and there is nothing like been with the man you love.i am so happy my love is back to me with the help of Dr.Trust.if you have similar problem i will advice you to contact him ,he is there to help you and put a smile on your face ask he did to me and others.contact email(ultimatespellcast@gmail.com or ultimatespellcast@yahoo.com call +2348156885231) what will i have done if not the great help of dr.trust. Thanks Handford Ann from canada. ,.

  • Hansford ann

    My name is Handford Ann,i base in canada.i want to share my wonderful testimony on how i got back my ex-lover of my life back, who i sworn to be with until when he left me to another woman for no reason and i try to make things work for both of us yet things where getting worse and i love him so much and there is nothing i could do to get my ex back until i met a testimony share by Maria from USA on the internet talking about a powerful spell caster who brought his ex lover back within 48hours and i decide to give it a try and to my greatest surprise he also did it for me just as he did for Maria and i have a lot of people complaining of fake spell caster but this one i met was a real spell caster who help me to solve my problem i have no solution to,i introduce many of my best friends that have a similar problems,and their problem were solve with the great help of dr.Trust.they get back their ex within 48 hours.i am so happy that my ex is back to me again,and the most surprise,is that our love is very strong,every day is happiness and joy. and there is nothing like been with the man you love.i am so happy my love is back to me with the help of Dr.Trust.if you have similar problem i will advice you to contact him ,he is there to help you and put a smile on your face ask he did to me and others.contact email(ultimatespellcast@gmail.com or ultimatespellcast@yahoo.com call +2348156885231) what will i have done if not the great help of dr.trust. Thanks Handford Ann from canada

  • Hansford ann

    My name is Handford Ann,i base in canada.i want to share my wonderful testimony on how i got back my ex-lover of my life back, who i sworn to be with until when he left me to another woman for no reason and i try to make things work for both of us yet things where getting worse and i love him so much and there is nothing i could do to get my ex back until i met a testimony share by Maria from USA on the internet talking about a powerful spell caster who brought his ex lover back within 48hours and i decide to give it a try and to my greatest surprise he also did it for me just as he did for Maria and i have a lot of people complaining of fake spell caster but this one i met was a real spell caster who help me to solve my problem i have no solution to,i introduce many of my best friends that have a similar problems,and their problem were solve with the great help of dr.Trust.they get back their ex within 48 hours.i am so happy that my ex is back to me again,and the most surprise,is that our love is very strong,every day is happiness and joy. and there is nothing like been with the man you love.i am so happy my love is back to me with the help of Dr.Trust.if you have similar problem i will advice you to contact him ,he is there to help you and put a smile on your face ask he did to me and others.contact email(ultimatespellcast@gmail.com or ultimatespellcast@yahoo.com call +2348156885231) what will i have done if not the great help of dr.trust. Thanks Handford Ann from canada.

  • Emiliano Babarah

    Oh my God, I’m so glad to tell everyone the real thing that happen to me…My name is EMILIANO BABARAH. If i refuse to share this testimony it means i am selfish to my self and to people i love so much whom might have similar problems, March 16th about something 7:23pm after taken our dinner my husband got crazy started calling a lady name Melisa I love you, i was so mad and started crying like a baby…then my husband left home for the idiot called Melisa, and never return back home then i believed when he uthen nderstand his self he will surly come back to apology, but instead he left me So i complained to my friend she told me she was having such problems in her marriage until she was introduce to DR ORIOMON who specializes in bringing back broken homes and broken marriages DR ORIOMON cast a spell for me in May 4th surprisingly my husband came home May 6th apologizing that i should forgive him that it will never happen again, i was so glad and gave the thanks to DR ORIOMON who save my marriage, if you are having similar problem you can contact him and His email address is (oriomonspiritualtemple@yahoo.com) you can still save your marriage if u really love your husband.

    Thanks EMILIANO BABARAH_USA

  • Marian Jerry

    Hello every one, I really want to share my testimony to the hearing of the general public on this site about how DR EHI helped me, December 2013, I saw a post on a particular site shearing testimony on how the great spell caster brought back her ex who name is Jerry so I just see it common and i said let me see what will happen because my husband left me and my three kids for another woman just like that, i and my husband was married for six years living happily before i new what was going on, he left me and go for another woman so when i saw the post, i contacted the spell caster on his email and he told me i should not worry that my husband will come back to me in three days after once he finish casting the reunite spell and to my greatest surprise, i now have my husband back to me again and i want to use this medium to let every body know that this is real and if you are out there having this same problem please contact the great spell caster on his email now because he can do the unexpected. his email is ehispellcentre@gmail.com or email him directly on his web site http://ehispellcentre.webs.com . I WISH YOU THE BEST OF LUCK.

  • I HAVE MY LOVE BACK

    Friends, i will like to share my experience with a spell caster that was introduced to me by my Aunt in Panama, I was going through hell and setback both in relationship and financially and i thought my world is coming to an end and have lost hope in everything i do. Until my Aunt introduced me to a man of great reputation, a man that has the zeal to help others, Lord Zilialia was the man that helped me when others have forsaken and ruined me but he stood by me and gave me assurance that he will help me and what he says is what is does. today i am a living testimony of his blessings and i want you all to know that now i have a sound relationship that is leading to marriage and i am back on track with my desired job. all this i got just for contacting Lord Zilialia on spellcaster1202@gmail. And you can still do the same and i assure you that your story will change positively!.

  • Adams Bella

    My name is Adams Bella, i live and work in Oxfordshire, UK. My life is back!!! After 2 years of Broken marriage, my husband left me with two kids, I felt like ending it all, i almost committed suicide because he left us with nothing, i was emotionally down all this while. Thanks to a spell caster called Dr.Trust of Ultimate spell cast which i met online. On one faithful day, as I was browsing through the internet, I came across several of testimonies about this particular spell caster. Some people testified that he brought their Ex lover back, some testified that he restores womb,cure cancer,and other sickness, some testified that he can cast a spell to stop divorce and also spell to get a good paid job so on. He is amazing, i also come across one particular testimony, it was about a woman called Vera, she testified about how he brought back her Ex lover in less than 2 days, and at the end of her testimony she dropped his email.After reading all these, I decided to give it a try. I contacted him via email and explained my problem to him. In just 48hours, my husband came back to me. We resolved our issues, and we are even happier than ever.Dr.Trust you are a gifted man and i will not stop publishing him because he is a wonderful man. If you have a problem and you are looking for a real and genuine spell caster, Try him anytime, he is the answer to your problems. you can contact him on (Ultimatespellcast@gmail.com or Ultimatespellcast@yahoo.com) or call him +2348156885231. he is the best caster that can help you with your problems

  • Adams Bella

    My name is Adams Bella, i live and work in Oxfordshire, UK. My life is back!!! After 2 years of Broken marriage, my husband left me with two kids, I felt like ending it all, i almost committed suicide because he left us with nothing, i was emotionally down all this while. Thanks to a spell caster called Dr.Trust of Ultimate spell cast which i met online. On one faithful day, as I was browsing through the internet, I came across several of testimonies about this particular spell caster. Some people testified that he brought their Ex lover back, some testified that he restores womb,cure cancer,and other sickness, some testified that he can cast a spell to stop divorce and also spell to get a good paid job so on. He is amazing, i also come across one particular testimony, it was about a woman called Vera, she testified about how he brought back her Ex lover in less than 2 days, and at the end of her testimony she dropped his email.After reading all these, I decided to give it a try. I contacted him via email and explained my problem to him. In just 48hours, my husband came back to me. We resolved our issues, and we are even happier than ever.Dr.Trust you are a gifted man and i will not stop publishing him because he is a wonderful man. If you have a problem and you are looking for a real and genuine spell caster, Try him anytime, he is the answer to your problems. you can contact him on (Ultimatespellcast@gmail.com or Ultimatespellcast@yahoo.com) or call him +2348156885231. he is the best caster that can help you with your problems.

  • annonymous

    I want to say my testimony to every body on this site because of what this great man called Dr.Zabaza have just done in my life. I really appreciate Dr.Zabaza who helped me to bring back my fiance back to me after 3 years and 8 months of sepration, I now know that Dr.Zabaza is the greatest spell caster on earth because he has just proven it to me this is like a dream to me i never thought i will be able to smile with my fiance by my side some day but right now my heart is filled with joy and i really appreciate what Dr.Zabaza has done for me. If you want to reach Dr.Zabaza send an email to zabaza.logan@yahoo.com or you can reach Dr.Zabaza through his number +2348182620374

  • Frank Marian Frank Marian

    Great Thanks to Dr Ofemo for helping me when i needed help.
    My name is frank Marian from USA I never
    believe in love spells until I experience Dr.
    DR Ofemo temple, and after he cast a love spell for me
    my Ex called me to apologize for the pain that she has
    caused me and till today we are living a happy family,
    if you need a right place to solve your problems
    contact DR Ofemospelltemple@gmail.com is the right choice. he is a great man that have been casting spells with years of experience, he cast spells for different purposes like:

    (1)If you want your ex back.
    (2) if you always have bad dreams.
    (3)You want to be promoted in your office.
    (4)You want women/ men to run after you.
    (5)If you want a child.
    (6)[You want to be rich.
    (7)You want to tie your husband/wife to be yours
    forever.
    (8)If you need financial assistance.
    (9)Herbal care

    Contact him today on: drofemospelltemple@gmail.com or you can contact him through his website on http://drofemospelltemple.webs.com/

  • GUEST

    Hello to every one out here, am here to share the unexpected miracle that happened to me three days ago, My name is Edwin Wallace i live in United State,and I`m happily married to a lovely and caring wife,with two kids A very big problem occurred in my family seven months ago,between me and my wife so terrible that she took the case to court for a divorce she said that she never wanted to stay with me again,and that she did not love me anymore So she packed out of my house and made me and my children passed through severe pain. I tried all my possible means to get her back,after much begging,but all to no avail and she confirmed it that she has made her decision,and she never wanted to see me again. So on one evening,as i was coming back from work,i met an old friend of mine who asked of my wife So i explained every thing to her,so she told me that the only way i can get my wife back,is to visit a spell caster,because it has really worked for her too So i never believed in spell,but i had no other choice,than to follow her advice. Then she gave me the email address of the spell caster whom she visited.(supremetemple@hotmail.com}, So the next morning,i sent a mail to the address she gave to me,and the spell caster assured me that i will get my wife back the next day what an amazing statement!! I never believed,so he spoke with me,and told me everything that i need to do. Then the next morning, So surprisingly, my wife who did not call me for the past seven {7}months,gave me a call to inform me that she was coming back So Amazing!! So that was how she came back that same day,with lots of love and joy,and she apologized for her mistake,and for the pain she caused me and my children. Then from that day,our relationship was now stronger than how it were before,by the help of a spell caster . So, i will advice you out there to kindly visit the same website {supremetemple@hotmail.com},i f you are in any condition like this,or you have any problem related to “bringing your ex back. So thanks to Dr Papa for bringing back my wife,and brought great joy to my family once again.(supremetemple@hotmail.com}, Thanks..

  • Maria A Thompson

    i have to keep you updated because I’m simply AMAZED at the results of the spell you performed for me in getting my partner back to me in good health. Everything is going so well and EXACTLY how you said it would be. Even though it took a little time to fully progress, it was so worth it because things are just about at perfection! How you took my situation and completely turned it around to give me exactly what I wanted is beyond me, but something I will never question and just be completely grateful for me coming across you. God Bless you for helping so many people get what their heart desires. You truly gifted! you can also contact him for help as well (arigbospelltemple@gmail.com)

  • Lizzy desler

    This is my testimony about the good work of a man who
    helped me..My name is Lizzy Desler and I base in US.
    My life is back!!! After 9 years of marriage, my husband left
    me and left me with our one kid, I felt like my life was about to
    end, and was falling apart. Thanks to a spell caster
    called Prist Bacasim who i met online. On one faithful
    day, as I was browsing through the internet, I was
    searching for a good spell caster that can solve my
    problems. I came across series of testimonies about
    this particular spell caster. Some people testified
    that he brought their Ex lover back, some testified
    that he restores womb, some testified that he can cast
    a spell to stop divorce and so on. There was one
    particular testimony I saw, it was about a woman called
    grace,she testified about how Prist Bacasim brought back
    her Ex lover in less than 72 hours and at the end of
    her testimony she drop Prist Bacasim e-mail address.
    After reading all these,I decided to give the great Prist a
    try. I contacted him via email and explained my problem to
    him. In just 3 days, my husband came back to me. We solved
    our issues, and we are even happier than before. Prist Bacasim
    is really a talented and gifted man and i will not stop publishing
    him because he is a wonderful man…If you have a problem
    and you are looking for a real and genuine spell caster to solve that
    problem for you. Try the great Prist Bacasim today, he might be the
    answer to your problem. Here’s his contact:
    pristbacasim@gmail.com
    Thank you great Prist Bacasim. Contact him for the following:

    (1)If you want your ex back.
    (2) if you always have bad dreams.
    (3)You want to be promoted in your office.
    (4)You want women/men to run after you.
    (5)If you want a child.
    (6)[You want to be rich.
    (7)You want to tie your husband wife to be yours forever.

    (8)If you need financial assistance.
    (9)Herbal care
    10)Help bringing people out of prison
    (11)Marriage Spells
    (12)Miracle Spells
    (13)Beauty Spells
    (14)Property Charm
    (15)Attraction Spells
    (16)Evil Eye Spells
    (17)Kissing Spell
    (18)Remove Sickness Spells
    Contact him today on: pristbacasim@gmail.com

  • markbill

    IS A TESTIMONY, I NEVER BELIEVED IN LOVE SPELLS UNTIL I MET THIS SPELL CASTER CALLED DR UNITY. HE IS REALLY POWERFUL AND COULD HELP CAST SPELLS TO BRING BACK ONE’S GONE,LOST,MISBEHAVING LOVER AND MAGIC MONEY SPELL OR SPELL FOR A GOOD JOB.I’M NOW HAPPY & A LIVING TESTIMONY COS THE WOMAN I HAD WANTED TO MARRY LEFT ME 3 WEEKS BEFORE OUR WEDDING AND MY LIFE WAS UPSIDE DOWN COS OUR RELATIONSHIP HAS BEEN ON FOR 3YEARS… I REALLY LOVED HER, BUT HER MOTHER WAS AGAINST US AND I HAD NO GOOD PAYING JOB. SO WHEN I MET THIS SPELL CASTER, I TOLD HIM WHAT HAPPENED AND EXPLAINED THE SITUATION OF THINGS TO HIM..AT FIRST I WAS UNDECIDED,SKEPTICAL AND DOUBTFUL, BUT I JUST GAVE IT A TRY. AND IN 48HOURS WHEN I WAS IN MY HOUSE IN USA,SHE CALLED ME BY HERSELF AND CAME TO ME, APOLOGIZING THAT EVERYTHING HAD BEEN SETTLED WITH HER MOM AND FAMILY AND SHE GOT A NEW JOB INTERVIEW SO WE SHOULD GET MARRIED..I DIDN’T BELIEVE IT COS THE SPELL CASTER ONLY ASKED FOR MY NAME AND MY GIRLFRIENDS NAME AND ALL I WANTED HIM TO DO… WELL WE ARE HAPPILY MARRIED NOW AND WE ARE EXPECTING OUR LITTLE KID,AND MY WIFE ALSO GOT THE NEW JOB AND OUR LIVES BECAME MUCH BETTER. IN CASE ANYONE NEEDS THE SPELL CASTER FOR SOME HELP, HIS EMAIL ADDRESS IS;unitylovetemple@gmail.com THANKS DR UNITY FOR YOUR GOOD WORK. ONCE AGAIN HIS EMAIL ADDRESS IS unitylovetemple@gmail.com

  • Paul Anna

    My name is Anna from Canada I have to give this miraculous testimony, which is still unbelievable to me until now. I had a problem with my husband 5years ago, which lead to our break up. when he broke up with me, I was not my self again, i felt so empty inside me, my love and financial situation became worst, until a close friend of mine Lucy told me about a spell caster who helped her in the same problem, his name is Dr ADODO. I email Dr ADODO the spell caster and i told him my problem and, i did what he asked of me, to cut the long story short. Before i knew what was happening my husband called me and told me that he was coming back to me in just 2days and i was so happy to have him back to me. We have two kids together and we are happy. Thanks to Dr ADODO for saving my relationship and for also saving others own too. continue your good work sir, If you are interested to contact him and testify this blessings like me, the great spell caster email address is (adodospelltemple@gmail.com) or call his mobile number +2348156784928 you are the best among all the spell caster online I hope you see my testimonies and also pray for my family too.(adodospelltemple@gmail.com).

  • Alex Becky

    GREAT DR. TAJU THAT HELP ME SAVE MY RELATIONSHIP.
    Good Day everybody, my names is ALEX BECKY, am from the United State
    of America, i want to give thanks and honor to Dr. Taju for the great
    work he did for me, he brought my lover within 24 hours which i never
    taught it will ever come through in my life, but this great man Dr. Taju
    proved to me that powers can do wonders, i got his contact from a
    friend in the USA who he helped, this friend of mine told me that this
    man is great but i felt as hmm are you sure? cause i hardly believe
    those kind of things,so she told me not to worry that when i contact
    him, that she is guaranteeing me 100% that my lover will come back that
    if it does not work that she will be the one to give me back my money,
    to show her sincerity to me, she gave me her car that if it does not
    work that and she did not pay me the money that i spent that she i
    should collect her car and she gave me all the documents, i was so so
    surprised she was very serious about it so that was how i contacted him
    and i told him what i want he just told me that everything will be done
    within 24 hours so with the assurance my friend gave me i was having
    confident, so in the next 24 hours that he told me i just heard a knock
    on my door i never knew it was mark, so that was how i opened the door
    the first thing he did was to go on his knees, he started begging me to
    forgive him that he is very sorry for everything, i was really surprised
    and was also happy, so that was how i forgived him and now we are
    living together happily than ever before, and am using the media to
    invite my friends on my wedding which will coming up on 24/10/2014, am
    very happy thanks be to Lucy who gave me his contact and honor be onto
    Great DR. TAJU who helped a lot, if you need his help or you want to
    thank him for me you can contact him through
    drtajulovespllhome@gmail.com or contact him through his mobile number number +2348110496031.
    You can also read my testimony on my blogger site: http://alexbecky11.blogspot.com

  • Dr Ogbeifun

    HOW I GOT MY EX LOVER BACK FROM A SPELL CASTER
    thanks be to God that i have found some one like Dr ogbeifun the great man who help me out when my lover left me, i have being a relationship with my lover for over Eight years before i knew it my husband started dating his office girl when i cut them in the hotel room i ask my husband what is going on here he just told me what am seeing is what is going on if i can take it i should live it and allow him to live his life the way he want to,it just like a dream to me that my husband did such to me after staying for seven years i cried all over the day and night no help till the day i was passing by my friend called me and told me that i am look so stress up i told him every thing that happen to me he said i should not cry again that he we introduce me to one great man that help her out when she was like me too that is how i contacted Dr ogbeifun on his email ; dr.ogbeifunspelltemple2@gmail.com and his phone number +2347037059120 to my greatest surprise after Dr ogbeifun cast a spell on me in just 24hours my husband called me for forgiveness and beg me to come back home, that is how my husband came back to me all with the help of Dr ogbeifun here is the email dr.ogbeifunspelltemple2@gmail.com if not this man don’t contact any body contact Dr ogbeifun his the only man that is bless with so much power am happy today is the help of Dr ogbeifun.
    EMAIL; dr.ogbeifunspelltemple2@gmail.com
    PHONE NUMBER ; +2347037059120
    ANITA FROM U S A

  • Dr Ogbeifun

    HOW I GOT MY EX LOVER BACK FROM A SPELL CASTER

    thanks be to God that i have found some one like Dr ogbeifun the great
    man who help me out when my lover left me, i have being a relationship
    with my lover for over Eight years before i knew it my husband started
    dating his office girl when i cut them in the hotel room i ask my
    husband what is going on here he just told me what am seeing is what is
    going on if i can take it i should live it and allow him to live his
    life the way he want to,it just like a dream to me that my husband did
    such to me after staying for seven years i cried all over the day and
    night no help till the day i was passing by my friend called me and told
    me that i am look so stress up i told him every thing that happen to me
    he said i should not cry again that he we introduce me to one great man
    that help her out when she was like me too that is how i contacted Dr
    ogbeifun on his email ; dr.ogbeifunspelltemple2@gmail.com
    and his phone number +2347037059120 to my greatest surprise after Dr
    ogbeifun cast a spell on me in just 24hours my husband called me for
    forgiveness and beg me to come back home, that is how my husband came
    back to me all with the help of Dr ogbeifun here is the email dr.ogbeifunspelltemple2@gmail.com“>dr.ogbeifunspelltemple2@gmail.com
    if not this man don’t contact any body contact Dr ogbeifun his the only
    man that is bless with so much power am happy today is the help of Dr
    ogbeifun.

    EMAIL; dr.ogbeifunspelltemple2@gmail.com“>dr.ogbeifunspelltemple2@gmail.com

    PHONE NUMBER ; +2347037059120

    ANITA FROM U S A

  • Robin laura

    I have been in great bondage for about 4 years
    suffering in the hands of a cheating husband. We were living happily
    until he meant his old time girl friend and he started dating her again
    outside our marriage and before i knew it he stopped caring for his own
    family, to the extent that he was planning to marry her and divorce me. I
    cried and reported him to his family members but he never listened to
    anyone and to cut the story short, i came in search for a real spell
    caster who could destroy their relationship and make him come back to me
    and our 2 kids again; on my search i saw people sharing testimony on
    how their marriage was restored by Dr. Eze Malaka and i pick his email
    and told him the problem that i was going through, and he agreed to help
    me and told me never to worry. After he had finished casting the spell,
    on the second day, they both had a quarrel and he beat up his
    girlfriend and he came back home begging me to forgive him that his eyes
    are clear now that he will never do any thing that will hurt his family
    again and promise to be a caring father and never to cheat on me again.
    I am so happy that i did not lose him to the girl and all appreciation
    goes to Dr. Eze Malaka for his great work. You are a Great spell caster
    and to you all that are faced with this or similar problem to this,
    please contact him now on extremewhitelovespell@yahoo. com or his WEBSITE ADDRESS is http://extremewhitelovespell.webs.com once again thank you Dr. thank you, thank you.

  • Frank Marian Frank Marian

    Great Thanks to Dr Ofemo for helping me when i needed help.
    My name is frank Marian from USA I never
    believe in love spells until I experience Dr.
    DR Ofemo temple, and after he cast a love spell for me
    my Ex called me to apologize for the pain that she has
    caused me and till today we are living a happy family,
    if you need a right place to solve your problems
    contact DR Ofemospelltemple@gmail.com is the right choice. he is a great man that have been casting spells with years of experience, he cast spells for different purposes like:

    (1)If you want your ex back.
    (2) if you always have bad dreams.
    (3)You want to be promoted in your office.
    (4)You want women/ men to run after you.
    (5)If you want a child.
    (6)[You want to be rich.
    (7)You want to tie your husband/wife to be yours
    forever.
    (8)If you need financial assistance.
    (9)Herbal care

    Contact him today on: drofemospelltemple@gmail.com or you can contact him through his website on http://drofemospelltemple.webs.com/

  • Anderson Ann

    I am Mrs ANDERSON ANN from USA, i want to
    share a testimony of my life to every one. i was married to my husband
    Barry Morgan, i love him so much we have been married for 5 years now
    with two kids. when he went for a vacation to France he meant a lady
    called Clara who en charm him with his beauty, he told me that he is no
    longer interested in the marriage any more. i was so confuse and seeking
    for help, i don’t know what to do until I met my friend Miss Rose and
    told her about my problem. she told me not to worry about it that she
    had a similar problem before and introduce me to a man called Dr Iyayi.
    who cast a spell on her ex and bring him back to her after 3days. Miss
    Rose ask me to contact Dr Iyayi. I contacted him to help me bring back
    my husband and he ask me not to worry about it that the gods of his
    fore-fathers will fight for me. He told me by three days he will
    re-unite me and my husband together. After three day my husband called
    and told me he is coming back to sought out things with me, I was
    surprise when I saw him and he started crying for forgiveness and that
    he never knew what came upon him that he will never leave me again or
    the kids.it was the spell that was casted on him that was working on
    him. Right now I am the happiest woman on earth for what this great
    spell caster did for me and my husband, you can contact Dr.Iyayi on any
    problem in this world, he is very nice, here is his contact
    driyayilovespellhome@gmail.com. or contact him through his website
    address: http://driyayilovespellhome.webs.com You can also contact him through his mobile: +2347032617285.
    You can also view my testimony on my blogger site: http://andersonann511.blogspot.com/201 .He is the best spell caster.

  • lovespell

    My name is RUTH from USA, My ex-boyfriend dumped me five months ago after I accused him of seeing someone else and insulting him. I want him back in my life but he refuse to have any contact with me. I was so confuse and don’t know what to do, so i confided in a friend who got me introduced to Dr okun of okuntemple@gmail.com that he was the one that helped her to stop her divorce between her husband so i went to the internet to really look see if i could see anything about this temple so I saw various testimonies of people about Dr okun of okuntemple@gmail.com how he has helped them to get their ex back so I contacted him and explain my problem to him and he told me what he required to enable him cast my reunion spell and i did provided them and he assured me that my man will be back in nine days since that was the spell result i was able to afford To my greatest surprise on the ninth day as he has said my ex came knocking on my door and begging for forgiveness. I am so happy that my love is back again and our relationship has become so passionate and compassionate guess he just proposed to me two days ago so i decided to write of his good work so that anyone in my former situation can also contact him for help. Once again Dr okun of okuntemple@gmail.com is a wonderful spell caster and he is the answer to your relationship problems. He can be of great help and to you and I will never stop publishing his good works cause i know that you need his help his emergency number is +2347060595685

  • Frank Marian Frank Marian

    Great Thanks to Dr Ofemo for helping me when i needed help.
    My name is frank Marian from USA I never
    believe in love spells until I experience Dr.
    DR Ofemo temple, and after he cast a love spell for me
    my Ex called me to apologize for the pain that she has
    caused me and till today we are living a happy family,
    if you need a right place to solve your problems
    contact DR Ofemospelltemple@gmail.com is the right choice. he is a great man that have been casting spells with years of experience, he cast spells for different purposes like:

    (1)If you want your ex back.
    (2) if you always have bad dreams.
    (3)You want to be promoted in your office.
    (4)You want women/ men to run after you.
    (5)If you want a child.
    (6)[You want to be rich.
    (7)You want to tie your husband/wife to be yours
    forever.
    (8)If you need financial assistance.
    (9)Herbal care

    Contact him today on: drofemospelltemple@gmail.com or you can contact him through his website on http://drofemospelltemple.webs.com/

  • amina

    I can’t believe that through these details: ezizaoguntemple@gmail.com and +2348058176289 i was able to get my lost lover back just within 48 hours. Well let me first of all give honor to whom honor is due by introducing the great man that brought my lover back called Dr.Eziza. I had some issues with my lover which lead to a big quarrel and we eventually broke up, After the break up i felt very terrible with myself and i needed solution on how to get my lover back. So through Google i was able to get Dr.Eziza contact details and i contacted him then the rest was history. So people no need to wonder around seeking for solution else where just contact Dr.Eziza on +2348058176289 and ezizaoguntemple@gmail.com and your lover will be knocking on your door begging you to accept him back

  • How i got my ex back

    After dating for three years, my boyfriend pulled a serious disappearing act. Out of the blue he stopped returning any of my calls, e-mails or texts. It was like he never existed—he even deleted his Face book! I ended up seeing him two months later at a bar with another lady, and he was so embarrassed to see me that he quickly left. could not take it so seeked for help from dr ekuku and behold after 24 hours my man came back to me with a wedding ring and flowers early in the morning asking me to marry him was happy and i say yes.

    i have seen a lot of testimonies on-line about spell casters but dr ekuku is simply the best do contact him for help for any kind of issue on Email: ekukutempleofsolution@gmail.com and telephone:+2348111957679.

    Nikky from Australia

  • ANNONYMMOUS

    hello everyone on this forum i want to share a mega testimony about Dr Oko [SOLUTIONHOME@OUTLOOK.COM] the traditional spell caster who help me to get my ex man back when he left me for another woman, i tried everything to make sure he comes back to me but he refuse until i contacted Dr Oko to cast a spell for me so that he will come back to me and take care of his responsibilities, Dr Oko told me what i will provide for him to cast the spell which i actually provide for to cast the spell and he guarantee me that my man will come back house after 24hrs of casting the spell, i actually wait for his spell to react, after 24hrs of casting the spell my man kindly walk down home and apologize for the pains he has cause me, i told him not to worry that i have forgiven him but he should promise me that he will never hurt my feeling which he actually promise, i will say since the day he cast the spell for me my husband has been faithful and kind to me like never before. i want to tell you all to contact this great spell caster for any help through his email address and he will help you to solve the problem just the same way he has help me. email him now: solutionhome@outlook.com
    BERRY GALIDAMUS

  • Adams Bella

    My name is Adams Bella, i live and work in Oxfordshire, UK. My life is back!!! After 2 years of Broken marriage, my husband left me with two kids, I felt like ending it all, i almost committed suicide because he left us with nothing, i was emotionally down all this while. Thanks to a spell caster called Dr.Trust of Ultimate spell cast which i met online. On one faithful day, as I was browsing through the internet, I came across several of testimonies about this particular spell caster. Some people testified that he brought their Ex lover back, some testified that he restores womb,cure cancer,and other sickness, some testified that he can cast a spell to stop divorce and also spell to get a good paid job so on. He is amazing, i also come across one particular testimony, it was about a woman called Vera, she testified about how he brought back her Ex lover in less than 2 days, and at the end of her testimony she dropped his email.After reading all these, I decided to give it a try. I contacted him via email and explained my problem to him. In just 48hours, my husband came back to me. We resolved our issues, and we are even happier than ever.Dr.Trust you are a gifted man and i will not stop publishing him because he is a wonderful man. If you have a problem and you are looking for a real and genuine spell caster, Try him anytime, he is the answer to your problems. you can contact him on (Ultimatespellcast@gmail.com or Ultimatespellcast@yahoo.com) or call him +2348156885231. he is the best caster that can help you with your problems

  • Adams Bella

    My name is Adams Bella, i live and work in Oxfordshire, UK. My life is back!!! After 2 years of Broken marriage, my husband left me with two kids, I felt like ending it all, i almost committed suicide because he left us with nothing, i was emotionally down all this while. Thanks to a spell caster called Dr.Trust of Ultimate spell cast which i met online. On one faithful day, as I was browsing through the internet, I came across several of testimonies about this particular spell caster. Some people testified that he brought their Ex lover back, some testified that he restores womb,cure cancer,and other sickness, some testified that he can cast a spell to stop divorce and also spell to get a good paid job so on. He is amazing, i also come across one particular testimony, it was about a woman called Vera, she testified about how he brought back her Ex lover in less than 2 days, and at the end of her testimony she dropped his email.After reading all these, I decided to give it a try. I contacted him via email and explained my problem to him. In just 48hours, my husband came back to me. We resolved our issues, and we are even happier than ever.Dr.Trust you are a gifted man and i will not stop publishing him because he is a wonderful man. If you have a problem and you are looking for a real and genuine spell caster, Try him anytime, he is the answer to your problems. you can contact him on (Ultimatespellcast@gmail.com or Ultimatespellcast@yahoo.com) or call him +2348156885231. he is the best caster that can help you with your problems.

  • Anderson Moon Anna

    Testimony of my life!!

    I am Anna Anderson from UK, after 4 years in marriage with my wife, she divorced me and follow man, i did all i could to get
    her back but all proved abortive, until a old friend of mine told me about a spell caster Dr.ODUDUA on the internet who helped her in a similar issue, at first i doubted it but I decided to give it a try, when I contacted him (dr.oduduwasamuelhightemple@gmail.com) he helped me cast a re-unite spell and within 48 hours me and my wife come together again. Contact this great spell caster on your relationship or marriage problems and counseling at dr.oduduwasamuelhightemple@gmail.com

    Gabriel Anderson.

  • How i got my ex back

    My guy was away on a business trip for about 4 months, and we had been video chatting to stay in touch. One night I had my girlfriends over, and after a couple bottles of wine, we decided to Skype him. Our call connected, and I was about to tell him to say hi to my friends when he goes, ‘Bev, I’m sorry to do this over Skype, but I don’t want to put it off any longer. I think we should just be friends.’ I was in total shock, and my friends just sat there with their mouths hanging open. I mumbled okay and got off as quickly as possible—I was dumped in front of all my best friends.

    i could not take it cus i had build my whole life around him and all of a sudden it was crashing.

    I wiped for weeks until a friend of mine came to my rescue she first asked me that if she suggested something hope i will not get upset and i replied anything that will bring back my man i will do then she asked me to contact dr ekuku which i did the next day my guy who stopped video calling me called me and said that he was sorry about all the said and that he was out of his mind and wanted me.

    he his back in the states now and we hav been together back now for over 6 months.

    using this post to thank dr ekuku and to all make his contact public.

    contact him on:

    E-mail ekukutempleofsolution@gmail.com

    Tel :+2348111957679

    Zipporah from usa

  • Andrea Julie

    My name is Andrea Julie from Illinois in USA. Am here to testify of a great and powerful spell caster named Priest Kuvuki via his email: ( Kuvukispelltemple@priest.com ). I was so confused and devastated when my boy friend left me for another girl. I needed him back desperately because i loved him so much. So i contacted this great spell caster for a help. He helped me cast a return love spell on him and just within 12 to 16 hours my boy friend came back to me crying and begging for my forgiveness. I want to recommend this great spell caster to anyone that truly needs an urgent solution to a love break up. Simply contact the great Priest Kuvuki via his email address ( Kuvukispelltemple@priest.com )

  • Mary Smith

    Unimaginable and unbelievable. I am Mary Smith from the United States
    and i have a good news to share to the entire world. Do you need your
    ex husband or lover urgently? I wanna tell you that you need not to
    worry because i have a good news for those out there that are faced or
    similar to such situation because there is always a hope and a solution
    to all problem. There is a great spell caster called Great Owologbo who
    can really solve your problem. Getting my lover back is what i can’t
    imagine but when I was losing Jackson, I needed help and somewhere to
    turn badly but my Aunty told me about this spell caster who also helped
    her on the internet. I thought it won’t work but i just tried to give
    this man a chance and i ordered a LOVE SPELL. Two days later, my phone
    rang. Jackson was his old self again and wanted to come back to me! Not
    only come back, the spell caster opened him up to know how much I loved
    and needed him. This Spell Casting isn’t brainwashing, but he opened up
    his eyes to know how much we have to share together. I recommend anyone
    who is in my old situation to try him because he will help you and make
    things be the way it ought to be. If you have such problem or similar
    to this, please contact him on his email Greatowologbospelltemple@yahoo.com thank you Great Owologbo and may your gods reward you for your good deeds..

  • ANNONYMMOUS

    hello readers this is a story that you must read, i want to tell the general public about Dr Oko the traditional healer who cure me, i am alive and healthy today because of God and the medicine of Dr Oko, i want to use this medium to thank this great man for healing me from Cancer with his herbal medicine, this man is a really great man infact i am short of words, i want you all to contact this man in any problem you are facing he is ready to help you solve your problem. contact him now: solutionhome@outlook.com
    RICHMOND VICTOR

  • sarah

    I am here to share my experience with the world on how i got my love back and saved my marriage… I was married for 6 years with 3 good lovely kids and we lived happily until things started getting ugly and we had a fights and arguments almost every time… it got worse at a point that she filed for divorce… I tried my best to make her change her mind & stay with me cause i loved her with all my heart and didn’t want to loose her but everything just didn’t work out… she moved out of the house and still went ahead to file for divorce… I pleaded and tried everything but still nothing worked. The breakthrough came when someone introduced me to this wonderful, great spell casterDr. MAXI OWOLABI who eventually helped me out… I have never been a fan of things like this but just decided to try reluctantly cause I was desperate and left with no choice… He did special prayers and cast a love spell on her. Within 3 days she called me and was sorry for all the emotional trauma she had cost me, moved back to the house and we continue to live happily, the kids are happy too and we are expecting our fourth child… I have introduced him to a lot of couples with problems across the world and they have had good news… Just thought I should share my experience cause I strongly believe someone out there needs it… You can email him at: owolabilovespell@hotmail.com
    SARAH
    UK

  • Frank Marian Frank Marian

    Great Thanks to Dr Ofemo for helping me when i needed help.
    My name is frank Marian from USA I never
    believe in love spells until I experience Dr.
    DR Ofemo temple, and after he cast a love spell for me

    my Ex called me to apologize for the pain that she has

    caused me and till today we are living a happy family,
    if you need a right place to solve your problems
    contact DR Ofemospelltemple@gmail.com
    is the right choice. he is a great man that have been casting spells
    with years of experience, he cast spells for different purposes like:

    (1)If you want your ex back.
    (2) if you always have bad dreams.
    (3)You want to be promoted in your office.

    (4)You want women/ men to run after you.
    (5)If you want a child.
    (6)[You want to be rich.
    (7)You want to tie your husband/wife to be yours
    forever.
    (8)If you need financial assistance.

    (9)Herbal care

    Contact him today on: drofemospelltemple@gmail.com or you can contact him through his website on http://drofemospelltemple.webs.com/

  • Trucker Stacey

    My name is tucker stacey.This is a very joyful day of my life because of the help Dr.Trust has rendered to me by helping me get my ex husband back with his magic and love spell. i was married for 6 years and it was so terrible because my husband was really cheating on me and was seeking for a divorce but when i came across Dr.Trust email on the internet on how he help so many people to get thier ex back and help fixing relationship.and make people to be happy in their relationship. i explained my situation to him and then seek his help but to my greatest surprise he told me that he will help me with my case and here i am now celebrating because my Husband has change totally for good. He always want to be by me and can not do anything without my present. i am really enjoying my marriage, what a great celebration. i will keep on testifying on the internet because Dr.Trust is truly a real spell caster. DO YOU NEED HELP THEN CONTACT DOCTOR TRUST NOW VIA EMAIL: Ultimatespellcast@yahoo.com or call +2348156885231 or ultimatespellcast@gmail.com. He is the only answer to your problem and make you feel happy in your relationship.

  • Marisa Martin

    HELLO:
    my name is Marisa Martin from Canada, i want to testify to the general public how my relationship was restored back by the great power’s of dr agbeve after three months of loneliness, my ex-lover called me after my contact with dr agbeve that he want us to come back and start a good home, now we are happily married with two kids. All thanks to dr agbeve for his spiritual help. You can contact him on his email if you have similar problem, or any solution you may need, job, divorce, promotion in you place of work, healing,money spell, etc.you can Contact him via email:agbevespellhome@gmail.com or you can also reach him directly on his cell phone number +2348110745073

  • Jennifer Proseus

    Is this “rigor”?

  • Cabinda Steffy

    I am very happy today for what God used Priest Kuvuki a great spell caster to do in my life. i had misunderstanding with my husband in the past and so it led to us breaking up for 3 years but one day i saw a post of Mrs Bella who posted on the internet that Priest Kuvuki a great spell caster helped her with a spell that brought her Husband back so i decided to contact Priest Kuvuki the great Spell caster to help me and he assured me that my Husband will come back to me, luckily today i am very glad to write on this wall that Arthur my husband has come back to me as the great spell caster Priest Kuvuki said. Do you have a problem with you Husband, boy friend, girl friend, relations or in your office and you think you have lost them? worry no more because Priest Kuvuki the great spell caster can help you just as he helped me bring my Husband back okay. contact Priest Kuvuki today if you need your lover, EX or your husband back via email: kuvukispelltemple@priest.com

  • mimi@zombienation15

    As a school counselor in Texas schools for 35+ years, and having worked with students who are experiencing traumatic stress in our “performance” obsessed schools, I would like to respond to this article.

    Most children are now having too much emphasis focused on their performance, while having their social and emotional needs neglected, both at home and at school. This is especially harmful to elementary age children who still have a developing brain. We now have valid research from major universities, especially that of University of Washington (Dr Marsha Linehan) to show that an “invalidating” environment in childhood leads to Borderline Behaviors in young adulthood.

    Personality disorders begin at about the age of five, when a child first begins to express their independence and individuality, but then when they are “smothered” or “bullied” in an authoritarian environment, at either school or home or both, and not given the freedom to develop a strong sense of self, their social and emotional development will be stifled. Even though personality disorders begin about the age of five, they do not manifest until young adulthood. It is the environment that shapes behavior, and our children are having “bullying” behavior modeled for them in most authoritarian schools and families. Most children do not recognize “dominance”, or the fear of displeasing their teachers or parents as “punitive or authoritarian”, but it can cause the same repressed feelings of victimization (shame, guilt, self pity, anger) as that of “bullying”. However, the child perceives it as “they are the problem”.

    As a school counselor, I have observed first hand the psychological damage to children in this punitive authoritarian environment that has been created by “high stakes testing” and Common Core (TEKS/STAAR in Texas). Parents of elementary age children have grown up in this authoritarian school environment in Texas, and they are now indoctrinated to give up their family time and spend “punitive” time with their children doing meaningless boring homework drill that only serves the purpose of punishment.

    I wrote a professional report to Senator Jane Nelson and the Texas Health & Human Services Committee in Oct 2013, pointing out the specific punitive methods of “behaviorism” that are being used in schools and the psychological impact this has on children. Not one member of the HHSC or Senator Nelson’s office responded to my report.

    I wrote an OpEd article for the Austin American Statesman in May 2013 describing the “psychological abuse” in Texas schools that is actually “institutional abuse”.
    Only one legislator responded, and that was Texas Senator Kirk Watson, who has supported anti-high stakes testing and currently working on new legislation.

    When I was a high school counselor in Flower Mound, Texas, I served on a suicide task force during the 80′s when Plano High School was called the “Teenage Suicide Capitol of the World”, following a series of teen suicides. There were 8 reported that year, but others that were not reported because of fear that sensationalism would create emotional contagion. The consensus of the task force was that the teens were suffering from a lack of social and emotional support. They lived in an upper socio economic area with high performing parents. Even when parents are not consciously aware that they are putting performance pressure on their children, they must be aware that children learn from “modeling” their behavior. It is the child’s perception of themselves that is important, and they perceive themselves as they think others see them. When they live with critical judgmental measurement that hyper focuses on their “performance”, it is like “conditional” love as opposed to “unconditional” love. Their greatest fear becomes disappointing their parents or teachers, since that would be perceived as “rejection”. Rejection connects to a child’s greatest primal fear which is abandonment.

    Basically, our children in most Common Core school environments today are leaning that they are “valued” only when they perform well. Since the standards are unrealistic, they develop tendencies of “perfectionism” and the people pleasing behaviors that begin the faux font of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Many of them who cannot maintain high performance ratings in this unrealistic and unhealthy environment will develop chronic feelings of “never fully measuring up”, which is the thought disorder that leads to Borderline Behaviors. Children who develop this “self punishing” thought disorder will become high risk for suicide and other self harming behaviors and addictions. This environment causes codependency.

    We can see the damage to children’s mental and physical health that is being done in schools as a result of Common Core, yet we allow it to continue. We are allowing “leaders” who call themselves “reformers” to make school policy, yet they have no educational expertise or child development expertise. Of the 133 people who designed Common Core, not one of them had expertise in mental health or child development. (And it appears that most know very little about how children learn).

    When we force children to function in an environment of chronic stress, which is actually “traumatic” stress for many children, we are causing them psychological damage. We are forcing them to function in a chronic state of hyperviligance. Hypoarousal and hyperarousal are their bodies natural means of coping with this stress. They are being forced to develop unhealthy coping mechanisms such as “dissociation”, since they are not yet socially and emotionally equipped to manage this level of chronic stress. This is psychological abuse, which causes permanent damage to these children. It works like erosion in the physical environment. After a time in an elementary environment that was obsessed with “test performance”, I began to observe children who had signs of “desensitization” . They had lost spontaneity, humor, and ability for imaginative play. They began to appear more like prisoners of war than “normal” children. Those are signs of trauma. Early on, I and other mental health professionals in Texas thought we were observing higher rates of High Functioning Autism (HFA), since most of the students who were showing these signs were identified as Gifted & Talented with high spatial intelligence. The symptoms of HFA (regression, dissociation, constriction) are similar to the symptoms of trauma. Now we have recognized that it is not HFA, but it is the chronic “traumatic” stress these children are experiencing. It is not “post” traumatic stress, it is “chronic” traumatic stress.

    This rigid authoritarian “one modality fits all” environment of CCSS especially causes damage to gifted children who have high spatial intelligence. These children are self directed learners and have an intrinsic gift for scientific thinking. They need to use their imagination to create, design, and for self discovery. For them, it is a combination of fear and boredom that brings on the signs of ADD (hypo-arousal) and ADHD (hyper-arousel). Even though chronic stress is more damaging for some, all children are at risk for suffering permanent damage in the CCSS environment.

    It is estimated that 1 out of 5 children are considered “highly sensitive children” HSC, either from genetic predisposition to autism, or other neurological sensory disorders or developmental delays. For these children, chronic stress is “traumatic” stress. These children are more at risk for PTSD/Dissociative Behaviors and the psychiatric disorders of the B Cluster that are known to follow autism into adulthood (B Cluster = Narcissistic, Borderline, AntiSocial, and Histronic Personality Disorders).

    Our punitive, authoritarian, performance focused schools have become factories for producing codependency and Narcissistic/Borderline behaviors, and they have indoctrinated parents to focus on the same. Unless parents and schools learn the skills of how to “validate” their children, and how to recognize the distress this environment is causing, it will only continue and intensify. It is high time we throw out this punitive “performance focused” school culture and implement healthy nurturing environments that support children’s holistic needs. Children need an environment where they feel safe in order to thrive. They cannot function and be healthy in this environment of insecurity and fear.

    I resigned my position as school counselor in Austin ISD because I would not participate in “bullying” children. I will continue to dedicate my retirement years to speaking up against Common Core and the harm it is causing. I encourage other responsible citizens to do the same. Our children are our most precious resource, and they have a right to a “Do No Harm” school environment.

  • Mary Smith

    Unimaginable and unbelievable. I am Mary Smith from the United States
    and i have a good news to share to the entire world. Do you need your
    ex husband or lover urgently? I wanna tell you that you need not to
    worry because i have a good news for those out there that are faced or
    similar to such situation because there is always a hope and a solution
    to all problem. There is a great spell caster called Great Owologbo who
    can really solve your problem. Getting my lover back is what i can’t
    imagine but when I was losing Jackson, I needed help and somewhere to
    turn badly but my Aunty told me about this spell caster who also helped
    her on the internet. I thought it won’t work but i just tried to give
    this man a chance and i ordered a LOVE SPELL. Two days later, my phone
    rang. Jackson was his old self again and wanted to come back to me! Not
    only come back, the spell caster opened him up to know how much I loved
    and needed him. This Spell Casting isn’t brainwashing, but he opened up
    his eyes to know how much we have to share together. I recommend anyone
    who is in my old situation to try him because he will help you and make
    things be the way it ought to be. If you have such problem or similar
    to this, please contact him on his email Greatowologbospelltemple@yahoo.com thank you Great Owologbo and may your gods reward you for your good deeds..

  • stephine George

    Hello to every one my name is Stephine George from United states, i want to use this wonderful time of mine
    to appreciate and tell the world what DR OVIA of droviasolutioncenter@gmail.com have done for me, i was
    into a relationship for 3years
    happy with my partner few
    weeks to our wedding he left
    me and went after another
    woman he never came back to me again, i cry all day looking
    for help i have contacted so
    many spell caster but no result so i lost hope in getting him back. So one
    day as i was on the internet
    when i came across a testimony
    on how DR OVIA helped
    someone to get his lover back, so i was confused and afraid of contacting him because i was afraid of being scammed again but later on, due to the way i was missing my partner, i decided to gave him a try and to my greatest surprised, he actually helped and it work
    out for me and in just 24 hours as he told me, my partner that has been way for long sent me and appology text and even called me. Am so happy to
    have my Partner back to my self
    again thanks once again DR OVIA for helping me to bring
    back my Partner. if you are
    passing through the same
    problem
    or any kind of situation at all and
    you think all hope is lost my
    dear try DR OVIA and i believe he can also do it for you. Contact DR OVIA today on his
    email: droviasolutioncenter@gmail.com but you can as well contact him through his website on

    http://droviasolutioncenter.webs.com/

  • Mary Smith

    Unimaginable and unbelievable. I am Mary Smith from the United States
    and i have a good news to share to the entire world. Do you need your
    ex husband or lover urgently? I wanna tell you that you need not to
    worry because i have a good news for those out there that are faced or
    similar to such situation because there is always a hope and a solution
    to all problem. There is a great spell caster called Great Owologbo who
    can really solve your problem. Getting my lover back is what i can’t
    imagine but when I was losing Jackson, I needed help and somewhere to
    turn badly but my Aunty told me about this spell caster who also helped
    her on the internet. I thought it won’t work but i just tried to give
    this man a chance and i ordered a LOVE SPELL. Two days later, my phone
    rang. Jackson was his old self again and wanted to come back to me! Not
    only come back, the spell caster opened him up to know how much I loved
    and needed him. This Spell Casting isn’t brainwashing, but he opened up
    his eyes to know how much we have to share together. I recommend anyone
    who is in my old situation to try him because he will help you and make
    things be the way it ought to be. If you have such problem or similar
    to this, please contact him on his email Greatowologbospelltemple@yahoo.com thank you Great Owologbo and may your gods reward you for your good deeds..

  • eunice baker

    i want to tell you about my past and how blessed i am today. please i understand how it feels to be heartbroken.i have a 5years relationship with my boyfriend not until when he brought me an invitation letter that he was getting married to somebody else because i love him so much and we promise to live our lives together ever since my life have been filled with pains,heart break and i almost took my life because of him.A friend of mine told me how DR.LOVESPELL helped her to get her husband back together after 3year,before i now contacted DR.LOVESPELL(lovespellpower@hotmail.com)call number tel.+2348104004707 is the spell caster who cast a spell in two days my boyfriend and i are back together.i am so happy for what DR.LOVESPELL had done for me and my family too it a miracle for me, life have changed for the best.i don’t need to explain it more than this but for you to contact him and your life will change for the best i promise you.

  • Elizabeth Mark

    My Names is Elizabeth Mark I’m sharing this testimony.i never believed
    in love spells or magic until i met this spell caster once when i went
    to usa in march last year on a business summit i meet a man called Dr
    JOHNBULL, is powerful he could help you cast a spells to bring back my
    love s gone misbehaving lover looking for some one to love you bring
    back lost money and magic money spell or spell for a good job i m now
    happy & a living testimony cos the man i had wanted to marry left me
    4weeks before our wedding and my life was upside down cos our
    relationship has been on for 5 year i really loved him, but his mother
    was against me and he had no good paying job so when i met this spell
    caster, i told him what happened and explained the situation of things
    to him at first i was undecided,skeptical and doubtful, but i just gave
    it a try and in 8 days when i returned to taxes my husband (is now my
    husband ) he called me by himself and came to me apologizing that
    everything had been settled with his mother and family and when its
    Saturday,they called me at my place of work that i should resume working
    on Monday and they gonna compensate me for the time limit have spent at
    home without working..My life is back into shape,i have my husband back
    and we are happily married now with kids and i have my job back
    too.This man is really powerful for any help you want him to do for you.
    ..if we have up to 20 people like him in the world,the world would have
    been a better place..he has also helped many of my friends to solve
    many problems and they are all happy now..Am posting this to the forum
    for anybody that is interested in meeting the man for help.if you are
    interested to contact DR JOHNBULL for your solution now EMAIL is ( Greatjohnbullspellhome@gmail.com,and also contact him at +2348059723809

  • Marian Gregory

    My life is back!!! After 8 years of marriage, my husband left me and left me with our three kids. I felt like my life was about to end, and was falling apart. I contacted Dr. OKORO LOVE SPELL and after I explained my problem, In just 3 days my husband came back to us and show me and my kids much love and apologize for all the pain he have bring to the family. We solved our issues, and we are even happier more than ever before Dr. OKORO you are the best spell caster. I really appreciate the love spell you cast for me to get the man back to my life i will keep sharing more testimonies to people about your good work. Thank you once again Dr. OKORO. You can also contact Dr. OKORO via email address: dr.okorospelltemple01@gmail.com in case you are in any problem you can contact this man for help he is always there in his temple to help you solve your problem Contact Email is: dr.okorospelltemple01@gmail.com CONTACT HIM TODAY VIA THIS EMAIL ADDRESS: dr.okorospelltemple01@gmail.com AS HIS POWERS ARE SO STRONG AND VERY EFFECTIVE AND HAS NO BAD EFFECT INSTEAD IT HAVE A VERY GOOD RESULT AFTER CASTING THE SPELL.

    Dr. OKORO NUMBER: +2348053209149
    Contact Dr. OKORO Via email: dr.okorospelltemple01@gmail.com

  • Laura Billey

    Hello
    I am Laura Billey by name. Greetings to every one that is
    reading my wonderful testimony. I have been rejected by my husband after
    three(3) years of marriage just because another woman had a spell on
    him and he left me and the kid to suffer. one day when i was reading
    through the web, i saw a post on how this spell caster called priest Owo
    of this address priestowospiritualhome@gmail.com , have help a woman
    to get back her husband and i gave him a reply to his address and he
    told me that a woman had a spell on my husband and he told me that he
    will help me and in 24 hours that i will have my husband back. i
    believed him and today i am glad to let you all know that this spell
    caster have the power to bring Husband back and so many other things.
    because i am now happy with my husband. Thanks to Priest Owo, if not for
    him, my life will have been so misery for me. His email id is as
    follows if you want to contact him for any help:
    priestowospiritualhome@gmail.com or you can contact him through his
    website:
    http://priestowospiritualhome.webs.com/

  • Cynthia Jerry

    My Name is Cynthia Jerry i have a testimony to say; I have been married
    for five years without any child, nor pregnancy and so i became very
    sad and lost hope in life because my doctor told me there is no way for
    me to get pregnant and this really make life so hard for me and this
    made my husband to turn away from me. My sister in-law told me about DR
    ASOKA from the Internet, how he has helped people with this similar
    problem that i am going through so i contacted him and explained to him.
    He told me not to worry and that everything we soon be okay. He cast a
    spell and it was a miracle, to my greatest surprise three days later my
    husband came back to apologize for all he has done and told me he is
    fully ready to support me in any thing i want,few months later i got
    pregnant and gave birth to twins (girls) we are now a happy family.
    Thanks to DR ASOKA for saving my relationship and for also helping
    others too. continue your good work, If you are interested to contact DR
    ASOKA for your solution now EMAIL him at ( drasokasolutionhome@gmail .
    com) for any help you want him to do for you. Thank you Great DR. once
    again and may your gods reward you for your good deeds.

  • sophia andres

    Hello I am Sophia Andres, I am out here to spreed this
    good news to the entire world on how I got my ex love back.I was going
    crazy when my love left me for another girl last month, But when i met the website of Dr Ikuku
    http://ultimatesolutioncenter.webs.com the great messenger to the
    oracle that he serve,I narrated my problem to Dr Ikuku about how my
    ex love left me and also how i needed to get a job in a very big
    company.He only said to me that i have come to the right place were i
    will be getting my heart desire without any side effect.He told me what i
    need to do,After it was been done,In the next 12 hours,My love called
    me on the phone and was saying sorry for living me before now and also
    in the next one week after my love called me to be pleading for
    forgiveness,I was called for an interview in my desired company were i
    needed to work as the managing director..I am so happy and overwhelmed
    that i have to tell this to the entire world to contact Dr Ikuku at
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    is too big for him to solve..Contact him direct on: ultimatesolutioncenter@gmail.com or call him on +2348104181322 and get your problems solved like me….. ONCE AGAIN HIS EMAIL ADDRESS IS: ultimatesolutioncenter@gmail.com or contact him through his website at http://ultimatesolutioncenter.webs.com. he is real and very powerful to help.

  • lovespell

    SANDY FROM PHILADELPHIA
    my name is SANDY this man at
    okuntemple@gmail.com is a great spellcaster, When I contacted him I was 6
    months into a bitter divorce battle. I thought that my marriage and
    family was ruined. I found his email online and his good
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    did he Stop my Divorce the love spell work super fast he was there to
    help me and counsel me through every step of the process.he helped me so
    much and I am happy to tell the world that Philip and I have reconciled
    and have since renewed our vows. We are stronger than ever. I am so
    happy that you were able to help me keep my family intact. Without you I
    am not sure what I would have done.

  • Marian Jerry

    Thank you very much DR EHI for i never thought any thing could make my husband come back to me as his wife again after he broke up with me and left to settle down with another woman who never Knew how we both suffered and share feelings together in USA but thank God today i was lucky to see this great spell caster on a site after seeing a lots of testimony and good work he have done in the lives of people helping them to get their ex,husbands and wife renewing their relationship. so you can contact Dr Ehi for help with his email address ehispellcentre@gmail.com or ehispellcentre@yahoo.com. You can also contact him through his web site on http://ehispellcentre.webs.com.

  • lovespell

    BENEDICTA:When the man I love broke up with me, my world fell apart.
    I had gone to several casters and I got no results. Until I found Dr
    Relief of relieftemple@gmail.com
    and gave another try to retrieve my lover and restore the passionate
    relationship I had with him. I’m glad I did all that he requested of me
    and trusted him. He performed a spiritual cleansing to banish negative
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    told me how much he really missed me and that he is sorry for leaving me
    in the cold. Help me to say Thank you to Dr Relief of relieftemple@gmail.com his contact number is +2347060595685

  • Anderson Ann

    I am Mrs ANDERSON ANN from USA, i want to
    share a testimony of my life to every one. i was married to my husband
    Barry Morgan, i love him so much we have been married for 5 years now
    with two kids. when he went for a vacation to France he meant a lady
    called Clara who en charm him with his beauty, he told me that he is no
    longer interested in the marriage any more. i was so confuse and seeking
    for help, i don’t know what to do until I met my friend Miss Rose and
    told her about my problem. she told me not to worry about it that she
    had a similar problem before and introduce me to a man called Dr Iyayi.
    who cast a spell on her ex and bring him back to her after 3days. Miss
    Rose ask me to contact Dr Iyayi. I contacted him to help me bring back
    my husband and he ask me not to worry about it that the gods of his
    fore-fathers will fight for me. He told me by three days he will .
    re-unite me and my husband together. After three day my husband called
    and told me he is coming back to sought out things with me, I was
    surprise when I saw him and he started crying for forgiveness and that
    he never knew what came upon him that he will never leave me again or
    the kids.it was the spell that was casted on him that was working on
    him. Right now I am the happiest woman on earth for what this great
    spell caster did for me and my husband, you can contact Dr.Iyayi on any
    problem in this world, he is very nice, here is his contact
    driyayilovespellhome@gmail.com. or contact him through his website
    address: http://driyayilovespellhome.webs.com You can also contact him through his mobile: +2347032617285. He is the best spell caster.

    I am Mrs ANDERSON ANN from USA, i want to
    share a testimony of my life to every one. i was married to my husband
    Barry Morgan, i love him so much we have been married for 5 years now
    with two kids. when he went for a vacation to France he meant a lady
    called Clara who en charm him with his beauty, he told me that he is no
    longer interested in the marriage any more. i was so confuse and seeking
    for help, i don’t know what to do until I met my friend Miss Rose and
    told her about my problem. she told me not to worry about it that she
    had a similar problem before and introduce me to a man called Dr Iyayi.
    who cast a spell on her ex and bring him back to her after 3days. Miss
    Rose ask me to contact Dr Iyayi. I contacted him to help me bring back
    my husband and he ask me not to worry about it that the gods of his
    fore-fathers will fight for me. He told me by three days he will
    re-unite me and my husband together. After three day my husband called
    and told me he is coming back to sought out things with me, I was
    surprise when I saw him and he started crying for forgiveness and that
    he never knew what came upon him that he will never leave me again or
    the kids.it was the spell that was casted on him that was working on
    him. Right now I am the happiest woman on earth for what this great
    spell caster did for me and my husband, you can contact Dr.Iyayi on any
    problem in this world, he is very nice, here is his contact
    driyayilovespellhome@gmail.com. or contact him through his website
    address: http://driyayilovespellhome.webs.com You can also contact him through his mobile: +2347032617285. He is the best spell caster.

  • Ann Moore

    I have been in great bondage for almost 2 years suffering in the hands of a cheating husband,we were happy and leaving well until he meant his old time gilr friend and he started dating her outside our marriage before you knew it he stooped caring and taking care of his own family it was to the extent that now he was planning to get married to her and divorce me his own wife, i have cried and reported him to his family but he never listened to any one but to cut my story short i came in search for a real spell caster who could destroy their relationship and make him come back me and our 2 kids on my search i saw people making testimony on how their marriage where restored by Dr.Trust i pick his email and i narrated my story to him and he agreed to help me and after performing a spell on the third day they both had a quarrel and he beat his girlfriend up and he came home begging for i and my little kids to forgive him that his eyes are clear now that he will never do any thing that will hurt his family again and promise to be a caring father and never cheat again.I am so so happy that i did not loose him to the girl all appreciation goes to Dr.Trustfor you are a Great spell caster and to whom this may concern if you have a cheating husband or wife you can as well email him on (Ultimatespellcast@gmail.com) or you can call him +2348156885231..

  • Ann Moore

    I have been in great bondage for almost 2 years suffering in the hands of a cheating husband,we were happy and leaving well until he meant his old time gilr friend and he started dating her outside our marriage before you knew it he stooped caring and taking care of his own family it was to the extent that now he was planning to get married to her and divorce me his own wife, i have cried and reported him to his family but he never listened to any one but to cut my story short i came in search for a real spell caster who could destroy their relationship and make him come back me and our 2 kids on my search i saw people making testimony on how their marriage where restored by Dr.Trust i pick his email and i narrated my story to him and he agreed to help me and after performing a spell on the third day they both had a quarrel and he beat his girlfriend up and he came home begging for i and my little kids to forgive him that his eyes are clear now that he will never do any thing that will hurt his family again and promise to be a caring father and never cheat again.I am so so happy that i did not loose him to the girl all appreciation goes to Dr.Trustfor you are a Great spell caster and to whom this may concern if you have a cheating husband or wife you can as well email him on (Ultimatespellcast@gmail.com) or you can call him +2348156885231.

  • Mary Smith

    Unimaginable and unbelievable. I am Mary Smith from the United States
    and i have a good news to share to the entire world. Do you need your
    ex husband or lover urgently? I wanna tell you that you need not to
    worry because i have a good news for those out there that are faced or
    similar to such situation because there is always a hope and a solution
    to all problem. There is a great spell caster called Great Owologbo who
    can really solve your problem. Getting my lover back is what i can’t
    imagine but when I was losing Jackson, I needed help and somewhere to
    turn badly but my Aunty told me about this spell caster who also helped
    her on the internet. I thought it won’t work but i just tried to give
    this man a chance and i ordered a LOVE SPELL. Two days later, my phone
    rang. Jackson was his old self again and wanted to come back to me! Not
    only come back, the spell caster opened him up to know how much I loved
    and needed him. This Spell Casting isn’t brainwashing, but he opened up
    his eyes to know how much we have to share together. I recommend anyone
    who is in my old situation to try him because he will help you and make
    things be the way it ought to be. If you have such problem or similar
    to this, please contact him on his email Greatowologbospelltemple@yahoo.com thank you Great Owologbo and may your gods reward you for your good deeds..

  • Mary Smith

    Unimaginable and unbelievable. I am Mary Smith from the United States
    and i have a good news to share to the entire world. Do you need your
    ex husband or lover urgently? I wanna tell you that you need not to
    worry because i have a good news for those out there that are faced or
    similar to such situation because there is always a hope and a solution
    to all problem. There is a great spell caster called Great Owologbo who
    can really solve your problem. Getting my lover back is what i can’t
    imagine but when I was losing Jackson, I needed help and somewhere to
    turn badly but my Aunty told me about this spell caster who also helped
    her on the internet. I thought it won’t work but i just tried to give
    this man a chance and i ordered a LOVE SPELL. Two days later, my phone
    rang. Jackson was his old self again and wanted to come back to me! Not
    only come back, the spell caster opened him up to know how much I loved
    and needed him. This Spell Casting isn’t brainwashing, but he opened up
    his eyes to know how much we have to share together. I recommend anyone
    who is in my old situation to try him because he will help you and make
    things be the way it ought to be. If you have such problem or similar
    to this, please contact him on his email Greatowologbospelltemple@yahoo.com thank you Great Owologbo and may your gods reward you for your good deeds..

  • Mary Smith

    Unimaginable and unbelievable. I am Mary Smith from the United States
    and i have a good news to share to the entire world. Do you need your
    ex husband or lover urgently? I wanna tell you that you need not to
    worry because i have a good news for those out there that are faced or
    similar to such situation because there is always a hope and a solution
    to all problem. There is a great spell caster called Great Owologbo who
    can really solve your problem. Getting my lover back is what i can’t
    imagine but when I was losing Jackson, I needed help and somewhere to
    turn badly but my Aunty told me about this spell caster who also helped
    her on the internet. I thought it won’t work but i just tried to give
    this man a chance and i ordered a LOVE SPELL. Two days later, my phone
    rang. Jackson was his old self again and wanted to come back to me! Not
    only come back, the spell caster opened him up to know how much I loved
    and needed him. This Spell Casting isn’t brainwashing, but he opened up
    his eyes to know how much we have to share together. I recommend anyone
    who is in my old situation to try him because he will help you and make
    things be the way it ought to be. If you have such problem or similar
    to this, please contact him on his email Greatowologbospelltemple@yahoo.com thank you Great Owologbo and may your gods reward you for your good deeds..

  • James Mack

    Who ever is reading this testimony today should please celebrate with me and my family because it all started like a joke to some people and others said it was impossible.My name is james,CEO Udegbe Ventures and i live in Ghana.I am businss man and business was going real well till about 9year ago something terrible happen.i lost all my goods which i have imported from china,as time goes on i lost it all.to even get food to eat was a problem and my wife packed out of my house because i was unable to take care of her and my kids at that particular time. i manage all through seven years, no wife to support me to take care of the children and there come a faithful day that i will never forget in my life i met an old friend who i explain all my difficulties to, and he took me to a spell caster and the name of the Temple is called, OGBONI spiritual temple, i was assure that everything will be fine and my wife will come back to me.after the wonderful works of DR.OGBONI,today i am back in business and even much bigger.if you must kwon am now one of the richest man in my country.i advice you if you facing any problem in life,just know that there is no problem without a solution for there is no problem too big for Dr OGBONI to solve,do contact him via email on :ogbonispelitemple@hotmail.com
    LONG LIVE DR.OGBONI AND THE gods of his ancestors!!!

  • eHealthGlobalHealth

    Facebook.com/officialnotracemusic

  • Quinn

    Also, as a formerly depressed and suicidal teenager that cut and dealt with eating disorders, I think something that everyone should focus on is helping those struggling with perspective. The one thing that saved me was my mom. Seeing her worry or crying because she thought she would lose me one day really brought my dark thoughts to reality. Although I did not want to live my life, I couldn’t bear the thought that I was causing my mom so much pain. I guess what I am trying to say is if you have a friend, sibling, or child that you think is struggling then make sure you tell them how much you love them. Make sure they know without a doubt that you will be devastated without them and the world will be affected. They need to know they matter. It worked for me, maybe it will work for others.

  • Quinn

    This academic is fairly common in all high schools, not just Newton. In addition, the pressures in high school academically are not even comparable to those in college. High schools are just preparing students for their future education environments because if they don’t then kids will get to college and feel even more overwhelmed and incapable. The issue is not simply Newton high schools, it is the culture of America.

  • Neil P

    BTW – another mental health profession thinks to the contrary ie. high achieving cultures in fact protect children from suicides.
    Go to 5:10 marker
    http://www.wcvb.com/chronicle/three-teen-suicides-rock-newton/25194468#!BGvFh

  • bacigalupe

    Today’s letter to parents and students reflect a change in the tone. This is hopeful and a good start and acknowledgment that we can do better. See excerpt below:

    With registration upon us, we would like to take this opportunity to urge students and families to consider balance and a healthy lifestyle as they select courses for next year. To help manage the stresses of an academic environment, we recommend that students consider the following questions with parents, teachers and counselors as they prepare to register for courses:

    What are the courses I would like to take this coming year?
    What are the courses I would like to take over the course of four years of high school?
    What are my commitments to extracurricular school activities?
    What are my commitments outside of school?
    What are my plans for physical activity and creative endeavor?
    Once these are considered, the question becomes: how much time is left for both a reasonable amount of sleep and a reasonable amount of downtime to connect with friends and family? These last two should be considered as separate entities of great importance to a balanced lifestyle. If there is insufficient time left for either of these items, then we strongly recommend reprioritizing courses and/or participation in various activities in order to create an appropriate balance.

    We ask that students and parents have these conversations at home, and that teachers and guidance counselors have these conversations with students in school. We believe it is entirely appropriate for the adults in a student’s life to say no to a student’s plans if they are not in the best interest of the student’s health and wellbeing. We believe that together, parents and teachers can help students make healthy, appropriate choices.

  • patricia

    Parents are powerful and if they think academic achievement is the most important thing in life, the kids will get it. I told my sons that I did not care how they did on the
    MCAS and I did not. I thought it was ridiculous to stress out third graders. Also told then it was more important who you marry in life than what college you attend. Further, since it was evident they were not going Ivy League, stop worrying. I would not allow them to take any AP classes in subjects they disliked. Finally, I frequently
    played the Queen song “Pressure” to illustrate what I thought of this road to nowhere.

  • Inessa Rifkin

    To put it simply, this article is very damaging to Roee’s mother right now. Yes, we are all hurting, but let’s not forget who is hurting the most, who is questioning herself the most and who has to find the strength to go on with life. Roee’s family is a wonderful, loving family, where kids are at the center of family life, where they are all very close and very supportive of each other. Roee’s mother is a paragon for all of us. What happened is a tragedy. And let’s not forget that no one knows the reason behind it. It seems to me that people are just losing their sensitivity. They are so afraid for their own children that they are completely forgetting their boundaries. Our duty as a community is to first of all make sure that Roee’s family feels our love and support. They deserve it. As a professional, the writer of this article should know that these things happen among adolescents of all cultures and societies. To use this family tragedy to push someone’s veiw of life is not thoughtful in my opinion. We all can discuss our points of view in 6 months. But let’s give the Grutmans the time to heal, they deserve it. They did not do anything wrong. On the contrary, there are an example for all of us of a wonderful family with exceptional family values.

  • northstudent

    I graduated from North last year, so have almost completed my first year of college. I honestly feel as though the most pressure came from myself and my peers. I always acknowledged that the Newton school system is designed to help students succeed in college, but now that I’m actually here I realize that high school was not nearly as stressful as college is now. The only thing North did not teach me well was time management. Yes, I would be up for hours doing homework, but that was because I decided not to start until late and would procrastinate a lot. I agree that there is always pressure to do better, but unless you have decided to take all honors and AP courses, there should never be too much for you to get done by a decent hour. There are only two things that I believe Newton could improve on; one being teaching students how to manage their time better, and two, encouraging the student to do what they believe is best gor them, not for the school or their peers.

  • Hans Rosenschwein

    In the mid 1970′s in my high achieving school district in suburban Philadelphia, we had 6-9 suicides per year, each year I was in high school. This included the president of my brother’s class, a homecoming queen and several star athletes, along with some more troubled kids. However the majority of them were fairly nondescript kids. In all cases friends, family and teachers claimed they didn’t see it coming. A few kids left notes. Those that did said they no longer wanted to live due to relationship problems or failure to live up to parents expectations. Most did not leave notes. The accepted explanation at the time was the same as it is today – that we were under too much pressure to succeed, to get good grades, to get into good colleges, to excel at extracurricular activities and to hold down jobs to help pay for college. Remember this was at a time when it was not uncommon for kids to be beaten for bad grades, when there was no financial aid so academic scholarships were the only way most kids could hope to go to a good school and nearly all kids had jobs. And there was actually real discipline in school so no bullshit was tolerated by the teachers and administration.

    Nothing changes. Some people can handle stress, some people can’t. Nobody really knows why a person decides to take their own life. Amongst teenagers suicides tend to occur in clusters because teens consciously or unconsciously copy suicidal behavior. There is no question that that was going on in my school.

    You cannot blame the school or teachers for stresses on your high school student. You are the parent and you are in the best position to know what your child can and cannot withstand. You are the one who has the obligation to step in and say, “Enough.” Your child cannot be forced to take a certain number, or any AP classes. You can take the AP exams without taking AP classes. My daughter did on some of them and got 4′s and 5′s on them. You do not need to apply to more than 6 or 7 colleges. In fact it is counterproductive to do so. You should sit down with your kid every few months and review their schedule of activities, work and school work and make sure that they have a healthy balance. You should make sure that YOU are not putting unnecessary pressure on them.

    My daughter excelled all through high school – straight A’s; AP classes and exams with top scores; pre-professional ballet training 6 days a week and all summer; work as an intern a college biochemistry lab. She graduated #5 in her class of 435. When in came time to apply to college, we told her she could apply anywhere she wanted. She (and we) did not want her to apply close to home (we want her out of the south), but anywhere else in the world was fine – with her grades and test scores she could have gotten in anywhere. She said she did not want to spend the next 4 years killing herself to prove everyday that she was as smart as or smarter than everyone else in the class – so she was not going to apply to any of the Ivies or high pressure schools. Instead she applied to good schools that have excellent biochemistry programs and are geographically located in places she would enjoy living for four years. She got into all of them.

    She is now in her second semester at the University of Colorado, majoring in biochemistry. She has a job at in a top biochemistry lab and is working directly with post-docs. She goes skiing every weekend. She has dozens of new, good friends. There is no competitiveness among her friends. The air is clean, everyone is healthy and loves to be outdoors and active. She is still a straight A student. She is making excellent connections with people in her desired field. Everytime I talk to her she says, “I can’t believe I was considering going to Cornell or Brown.”

    The pressure isn’t necessary. Back off and let your kids know it’s okay to back off.

  • Joanna Loren Watson

    A major part of the problem, I think, is the parents’ own needs for accomplishment and high achievement. They project this onto their children — they see no other possible, respectable way of being. It is not enough for them to try to be good people, to teach their children to be good people. They don’t know how to just “be”. They need to push themselves and everyone around them all the time. The problem now is that the competition to stay in the upper echelon of our society is becoming greater and greater, so our children are having to achieve more and work much harder to reach the level of status, wealth and accomplishment than we did — the standards have gotten higher, but it has become much harder to achieve what the parents have.

    What we REALLY need to do is to reevaluate what we consider to be “success” — why are we doing what we do — why are we insisting that our children do the same? Why are we teaching our children that our love and respect hinges on what they accomplish? With global warming, increasing gaps between the rich and poor, and with so many other things wrong in the world, WHY are we teaching our children the same things we learned?

    We don’t need to be in the “1 %” to be okay with ourselves, do we? Is it okay that most teenage girls in Newton and other cities like it have eating disorders? AREN’T WE TRYING TO CHANGE THINGS?? Surely there is enough brain power, enlightenment and courage in Newton to stop and think, to just perhaps love our children the way they are.

    • Lauren Berman

      I agree that standards should be altered (not lowered). I don’t think that most teenage girls in Newton and in other similar cities have eating disorders..

    • Neil P

      I am one of those parents who had made it to a comfortable,but not 1% lifestyle. I consequently push my son to try his hardest, so he can achieve what his is capable of.

      I respectfully disagree with your thesis of lowering one’s standards. Two reasons I justify otherwise a difficult decision of pushing my son is… Average is just not good enough. Look at where the “average” jobs are these day..all outsourced to China and India.
      But more importantly, if he does not develop a work ethic now, when else? I cannot control his self-motivation, but I can help him develop a work ethic.

      I am sure I contribute to my son’s stress, but then I also coach him to say no and help manage it. Stress is part of life, and one better understand how to manage to one best abilities. I work and answer my emails on weekend, its a choice. I know this contributes to stress for me, but then I would rather push myself.

      Happy to hear others thoughts and opinions to the contrary. Again this is a difficult decision to push my son, but I do it for his own sake NOT for mine.

      PS – This was not meant to offend anyone, but rather a candid input into this debate.

  • David Seaman

    My qualifications: I lived in Newton, I am a teacher who has taught in a top ten system (MCAS scores) and a mid-rate school. The only difference is economic. I have a PhD but mostly I am good. A 1999 finalist for Mass teacher of the year named 8 times to Who’s Who in America’s Teachers, it is my philosophy that every single student must be treated as an individual, as though she or he has a 504 plan. I have been removed from the classroom by a severe neuromuscular5 disease that has rendered me an invalid. A large part of how I taught high school students had to do with HOW to manage the sometimes overwhelming amount of work. One of the young women below taking all honors and AP classes spends thirty minutes a night on her work. This is a choice she makes.For her to suggest this choice is good for others is, if she’ll pardon me, ignorant. We are all different.
    But any teacher who asigns homework who doesn’t tehn collect it and scrutinize it neeeds to be dismissed.(I am apalled to read of the same young woman who said the teacher merely looks to see if there is writing on the page). I teach Fine Arts. This was bliss because if you’re teaching music and theatre most of the faculty and administration leaves you alone (as do the politicians) so that I really was able to do a LOT more teaching than many other teachers.Think about it. Music in culture, I taughyt the Cold War, 1968 Democratic Convention, The French Revolution, you name an important issue and I’ll find a song to match it. Gun control” Sondheim’s “The Gun Song” from Assassins. History of pop music and culture? “American Pie.” I taught people and used music to do it. If the choir was singing a piece from Randall Thompson’s “Frostiana” and I assigned a poetry analysis paper on “Choose Something like A Star” (Robert Frost, 1944) I not only taught them how to write (I was more strict about Strunk and White than their English teacher) but I spent EASILY as much time on each of the 153 papers as the student did to write it.I taughyt them brevity. Their papers were not6 allowed to exceed 2000 words or 1500 words yet they still had to make their point. Homework that is busy work is an insult; I told my students this and I told them ways in which to get around it, make it easy. You all should know that 98% of our top achieving students have discovered short cuts that do not affect their learning and do include what many of us would call “cheating.” I applaud them.
    The intense pressure that is on the students comes from everywhere. The students do it to themselves; the teachers do it because administrators and politicians have been telling us we’re failures for decades now, culture is pressing them but most of all, in a school such as Newton South or Westborough High School it is “cool” to be taking four AP classes. I taught AP Music Theory to a class of six students and every one of them got a 5. They demanded it of themselves. I NEVER taught to a test, even when, in the mid school system, we were told to do so. I believe the standards I was teaching were much higher than the MCAS and SAT’s.
    It’s easy for one student to criticize another who applies to more than 8 or 10 colleges. Again, every student is diferent. My daiughter, who is now an employed actress, needed to apply to nearly twenty school because a specific Fine Arts program for one University may well on;ly be accepting rive students. Lighten up: Again, the consistency is trying to catagorize all students under one umbrella. They are individuals.
    The important thing I did was to be reasonable. If a student doesn’t hit a deadline I didn;t make a scene.I didn;t take off points.(Grad4es are so subjective- even ludicrous) I had a “reading list” on the white board to which I added books, recordings and plays. At one point a freshman girl, not yet knowing me, said, “How are we supposed to read ALL these books?”( I had just asked them to compare “Gone With The Wind” written in the South in 1935 to “The Color Purple” written ABOUT the south in 1935.)
    “Dear” I said, “You have your entire life to finish this reading list.” We talked a great deal about how school- and my goal- was to teach life-long learning. Since, at any time, my students would talk to me about how they were affected by a book, piece of music or play and because I encouraged creative writing that I always responded to, I was very aware that the students were under intense stress- an intensity that has increased substantially in the past twenty years. it’s a trend and every student parent and teacher is different. Individuality merans they get attention.
    The advise I have is that it is incredibly important to be overzealous about medical care for our children. Not just physical care but emotional care. It would not at all be a waste of effeort or time for every single student to be given his/her own therapist. Once a weeek, fifty minutes that belongs solely to him: like a guest on a talk show who doesn;t have to move over for Joan Embrey and a chimp; therapy and counseling is having fifty precious minutes a week where a trained professional focuses on your needs. THIS is the most important element of a child’s upbringing. It is a screen9ing for possible problems; it is a safety net; it is a way to make a child KNOW that he is special.
    In all three of the high schools in which I taught, I became a “go to” teacher. Students were always confiding in me. I did the job that a well staffed guidance department would do and I was not always qualified to do it. Many times my referals to another “appropriate” person ended in disaster. The most important thing about our teenagers is that they are given as much attention as possible. Remember that the reason it is said that boys are easier than girls is because Boys have been trained to keep their problems to themselves. Put your teen behind the wheel of a car and this is an excellent place to engage him or her in concersation. Treat your teen more like an adult and he or she will confide in you. This is not JUST Newton. Look at that stupid MCAS rating list and every one of the top 25 schools on the standardized testing schools are the same. 26 through 142 are having the same problem but in addition they face the problems of poverty. Treat each student as an individual and treat him with respect. I realize I’ve gone on a long time, but let me finish with a lyric by Stephen Sondheim:
    “Careful the things you say
    Children will listen
    careful the things you do;
    children we see and learn.
    Children may not obey but children will listen.
    Children will look to you
    for which way to turn
    to learn what to be.
    Careful before you say, “listen to me.”
    Children will listen”
    – Stephen Sondheim, “Into The oods” 1985

  • Patrick Singleton

    Are there any data available to buttress this argument that pressure at Newton high schools played a role in the suicides over the past months? As I read this essay, I don’t see any evidence of a link.

    Three adolescents made tragic mistakes by choosing to end their own lives. There might be some intuitive appeal to speculation that academic or social pressures played roles in their decisions, but we will never know that. Perhaps their grieving families have their own insights, but all we can know is that every person’s life is complicated, and no death is simple.

    It’s fair to wonder if Newton schools could be healthier environments for the broad range of students in their care. It’s fair to say that six hours of homework is too much, particularly if every student in the class is spending that amount of time on the work. It’s fair to say the schools should welcome parent involvement. In my experience, those conversations go on at Newton schools.

    This is a bit of a small point, but what would the writer suggest for the day of a student’s funeral, beyond suggesting that students talk to their teachers about missing class? Cancelling school might well have brought a flood of students to the service — South, with enrollment over 1,700, is not a “small high school.” Does the writer know that the boy’s friends were not accommodated by the school somehow?

  • bacigalupe

    Thanks to all the extraordinary responses and thoughful comments. Looking forward to your thoughts on a second column coming soon. Even those who disagree or even misread some of my thoughts are sharing important ideas. Similarly, I am thankful to those who wrote me personal notes. Clearly, a conversation is needed.

  • Neil P

    I have a factual question re: Dr. Bacigalupe’s data source – He refers to ” world educational measures” and says Massachusett rants in top 5 in the world. I went to the link and it does NOT support the claim – Here is the text

    “Among the 34 OECD countries, the United States performed below average in mathematics in 2012 and is ranked 26th. Performance in reading and science are both close to the OECD average. The United States ranks 17 in reading,
    and 21 in science . There has been no significant change in these
    performances over time.

    • Mathematics scores for the top-performer, Shanghai-China, indicate a performance that is the equivalent of over two years of formal schooling ahead of those observed in Massachusetts, itself a strong-performing U.S. state.”

    All this is telling me is despite the $ and the stress, we are mediocre at the best!

  • Newton South Graduate

    I graduated from Newton South last year and am shocked by the recent suicides. My deepest condolences go out to the families of those who have passed away. While at Newton South, I took almost all AP classes, played two varsity sports and participated in lots of clubs. In Newton, there is a lot of pressure to succeed and get into top colleges, but this pressure is not the fault of the Newton school system. Our
    students are competing with the rest of the world to get into good colleges. Blaming
    the Newton schools alone for creating a stressful work atmosphere
    oversimplifies the problem. Personally, I prefer an atmosphere that pushes me
    to succeed rather than strives for mediocre achievement. The culture of high
    achievement at Newton South made me challenge myself, and I am much better
    prepared for my college workload and my future career because of it. The teen
    suicides in Newton are tragic, but blaming the premature deaths on Newton’s competitive atmosphere is not the solution.

    • ElliFrank

      It is interesting to me that so many students and parents have misinterpreted the author’s article as a call to lower standards and discourage students from doing their best. That is not what he or many other responses below are saying at all.

      You express shock at the three high school suicides that have happened in the last 6 months. Yet you are arguing that nothing should change. What many of us are trying to suggest is that there IS a need to have a collaborative, inclusive examination of what is not working within our community, including the school community. This is not the same thing as placing blame, but it is a call for all of us — students, parents, teachers, all other school employees, and other community stakeholders — to come together to examine how to promote the health and well being of the children and teens in our community. That, in fact, will promote excellent standards for education AND lives well lived.

      I think the worst thing we can do right now is to use fear, denial, a lack of curiosity, or resistance to change as a reason to move forward blindly, as if these three high school students had not died.

    • NutshellsGuy

      You miss the point. Overloading students reduces their level of achievement and success. It does not increase the chances of success. This is discussed much in several other posts and responses below.

  • nnhs013grad

    I’m a recent NNHS grad, and though I can attest to the fact that it is a high-pressure environment, I think it’s unreasonable to be blaming the NPS system for creating that pressure. During my junior and senior years of high school, I had three close friends who attempted suicide (thankfully, none were successful), and all have now gone on to college. Stress from school was a contributing factor to their drastic actions, but the far more pressing issues were social — friend disputes and nastiness rather than academic competition.

    And on that note, I think it’s safe to say that the competition and pressure comes much more from peers and parents than it does from teachers and the school system. Like many other grads who commented, I never felt any undue pressure to go to Ivies and to take all APs.

    I think the most important thing is to teach kids that it’s okay to say no. I took several APs, captained a varsity sport, and had a job. But I had other teachers suggest additional APs, I had people ask me to help volunteer, and I had nights when it seemed like I had just too much homework. So I learned to prioritize. I said no to the APs that didn’t interest me and would have increased my stress (and I never had a teacher who seemed to think less of me for opting out), said no to time commitments that would have overreached me, and when it got to the point where my options were to finish a non-essential homework assignment or go to bed, I got enough sleep.

    When kids stop continuously comparing themselves to each other and focus on what’s best for them, the overall environment will be healthier. I found Newton North to be a great school that prepared me extraordinarily well for college and allowed me to explore my interests and hobbies in extracurriculars. I’m now at a good school and very happy, and hoping that my town is able to heal from the string of recent tragedies.

    • Lauren Berman

      I agree with what you’ve said. I also think it’s important to communicate to kids that it’s normal to be flawed, and that we don’t expect, want, or need them to be perfect. Of course, these can’t just be hollow words that we mouth, we first have to embrace this belief ourselves.

  • NewtonIsForSelfEntitledIdiots

    I had the misfortune of living in Newton for more years than I would have liked, and my children attended the public schools. The problem is NOT “school culture.” It is PARENTS and the values and attitudes that they impart to their children. Teachers and administrators try to fulfill the requirements of self-entitled, arrogant, my-poor-baby Newton parents. Fact: when my oldest child was in 4th grade, I was waiting outside a classroom for a parent-teacher conference. The father in the room insisted on knowing whether his child was “the best” in the class. Fact: I had an acquaintance who, when we met for coffee one weekend, told me that she and her husband were meeting later that day with a college counselor to discuss “maximizing Irving’s (not his real name) chances for Yale.” Irving was a freshman. When I reported this to my own kids, one of them said, “But if they keep telling him it’s so important, how will he feel if he doesn’t get in?” Fact: when kids can’t hand in their work on time, the parents tell the teachers that Precious has an anxiety disorder that requires the teacher to accommodate Precious by allowing him/her to hand in late work without penalty. I can only imagine how Precious is gong to cope with the real world when he/she/it isn’t accommodated by employers who need to see the work ON TIME. Fact: one of my children returned from middle school one day and was very upset because one of her friends had been criticized by a self-entitled little toad because the friend, who was from another country, “buys her clothes at Sears.” First of all, she did not. Secondly, even if she did, what difference would it have made? These are the attitudes and actions that affect kids in Newton, not the teachers.

    • kMeansWhat

      haha, I am trying really hard not to respond with, ‘U MAD BRO?’

      More seriously, there is certainly an above average sense of entitlement in Newton; however, taking your 4 facts, and describing the whole population of Newton (some 70K people) as ‘vile’ is a giant overstatement which is neither productive nor accurate. In some ways, people in Newton are better than average, in some ways, they are worse. Let’s try to acknowledge the fact that people are complex.

      • NewtonIsForSelfEntitledIdiots

        Those facts are merely representative of hundreds of events over the
        years; I’m not quite so silly as to base my opinion on a few
        occurrences. The sense of me-me-me and sheer arrogance that
        pervades Newton is truly overwhelming. There’s a reason that
        stereotypes exist – it’s because they’re based on the hard truth. Yes,
        people are complex. And yes, there are some decent folks there – but
        they’re a tiny minority. There are many other towns where the gestalt
        is not “me first, I’m better, kids have failed if they don’t get into
        an Ivy, I need a really big house, get out of my way.” My kids
        absolutely blossomed after leaving, and I don’t think it’s even remotely
        a coincidence.

        • kMeansWhat

          First:

          “There’s a reason that stereotypes exist – it’s because they’re based on the hard truth”

          You might want to think about whether this a statement you actually believe, and how you feel about certain racial and ethnic stereotypes.

          I am sorry that you and your kids had a bad time, but, shockingly, there are many people who are happy living in Newton. In addition, a large slice of the population is made up of doctors, engineers, and professors: people who spend their daily lives healing and teaching people, and improving the world we live in. More so than almost any other part of the country. I acknowledge that you clearly have some personal baggage, which colors your opinion, but thinking that you can write off over 70 thousand people( give or take a ‘tiny minority’) is arrogant and does a disservice to many people you have never met or gotten to know.

          • NewtonIsForSelfEntitledIdiots

            I am glad you like it there and that your own personal baggage fits nicely in the overhead bin there. To each his/her/its own. Ideally, your children like it there and are not among the 65% of students whom the guidance counselor told us (at a public parents’ meeting) were in therapy – obviously, because they are so well-adjusted.

          • kMeansWhat

            Well, I graduated a couple years ago, and did like it there, though I am in school elsewhere now. I am not saying it is perfect by any means, just not only populated by vile people.

            Also, I was not in therapy, but there is nothing wrong with being in therapy, and needing help sometimes does not mean you are not well-adjusted. That type of attitude contributes to these mental health problems.

    • Call Me Carlos the Dwarf

      Middle schoolers are evil. That’s not a Newton thing. It’s universal. Girls are bad in 5th and 6th grade and boys are bad in 6th and 7th grade. It’s just the age.

  • ElliFrank

    Whether all the posters responding to Dr. Bacigalupe’s article here agree with him or not, one thing has become clear in this comments section: in the aftermath of three tragic student suicides in Newton during a short six-month period, many in our community want and need a place to discuss our feelings, concerns, opinions, and suggested solutions in response to these events.

    While I am grateful to Dr. Bacigalupe for writing the blog entry that has created the opportunity on WBUR’s CommonHealth website for a virtual town common where students, parents, teachers, and other community members are coming together to have this discussion, it has become even more striking that the Newton Public Schools and City of Newton have not been responding to this need. And I’m not writing this to bash anyone, but to point out an important need which is not being met, and a critical opportunity which is being missed.

    Newton’s response to crises in our community is generally to hold a one-time, emergency response-type meeting in the evening soon after the crisis. There is generally some expert guidance provided on how to talk to your kids about the problem, reassurances that the City is doing everything it can, promises about steps that will be taken to change things, and a brief Q&A period. Counselors are sent to the school which have been most immediately impacted by the crisis.

    Then it’s all over and everyone is expected to pick up and move on as if nothing every happened. There is never any follow up. No systemic problems are ever addressed.

    When you keep doing the same thing over and over again in response to a problem, but the outcomes don’t change, it’s time to wake up and do something different.

    Again, regardless of your opinion of Dr. Bacigalupe’s article here, what’s clear is that Newton’s current pattern of responding does not lead to constructive changes with measurable outcomes. There is clearly no place where we can share, gather, and process input from the key stakeholders in our community — our kids, families, and school employees (including everyone from the teachers to custodians, specialists to school office staff, librarians to administrators, etc.). There is no space for adults to listen to our young people and hear what some of them are sharing here. Or for parents’ voices to really be heard. There is no space where we can collectively look at the systemic problems facing our kids and teens, and discuss them with mutual respect in an honest attempt to address the sources of toxic stress which can drive some students over the edge to suicide.

    Again, regardless of our individual perspectives on the article above, if we really want to see any measurable changes in our community and promote greater physical and mental health among all of our stakeholders, we need to try some different.

    At very least, I’d love to see the NPS and City of Newton invest in a process that explores these systemic problems in an inclusive, collaborative, and meaningful way. We’d need competent, objective facilitators whose agenda is NOT set by any one stakeholder group. (These facilitators could NOT be from the NPS’ pool of employees or consultants.) I’d love to see the process start with a series of confidential “listening meetings” for each of the different stakeholder groups. This would really need to be an open process, where everyone was welcome at the table, participants could raise any issues of concern, and attendees would NOT be limited to individuals selected by the schools or administration.

    The information collected from such meetings could potentially provide our best sources of data for mapping out better paths into the future. The lives of our kids are at stake, so how could this not be worth the investment. …And if you think this is not a potentially helpful solution, I’d like to hear others’ ideas about alternative routes to change.

    • NutshellsGuy

      Wonderfully stated. I agree completely.

    • Call Me Carlos the Dwarf

      Absolutely.

  • kMeansWhat

    The article doesn’t really make any argument that the school system is to blame outside of the one example of scheduling midterms on the day of the student’s funeral, which admittedly seems like the wrong move and even a little callous.

    I am a NNHS grad, who is now at a top 10 university, and can say that the school system in Newton is fantastic at preparing students to do university work. I wouldn’t trade it for anything and I don’t think lowering the academic standards is anything more than a bandaid for the situation. Not a single teacher, counselor, or principal I ever had implied that I had to go to an Ivy league school, or had to get perfect grades, or take all AP courses. Usually, the message was the opposite. Ultimately, students can choose how many honors/AP courses to take and if they can’t handle the workload, we should ask why they took those courses. I think the answer will usually be, ‘to look good for colleges’. But I challenge anyone to come up with something the school system could change so that students would not want to get into good colleges. The programming that students receive comes from other students, their parents, and from a society which is more economically competitive/cutthroat than it has been in a couple decades. I would like to hear specific policies that put pressure on students, outside of giving them less work, which will hurt the quality of the education provided by these schools.

    • NutshellsGuy

      You wrote: “I don’t think lowering the academic standards is anything more than a bandaid for the situation.”

      A careful read of the article and most comments will show that this is not the suggested solution.

      • kMeansWhat

        Maybe I didn’t read carefully enough; what do you see as the suggested solution? I have seen most people, including the article cite course workload as the main way schools contribute to the issue. The article says

        “More generally, kids have so much homework that they don’t have any time to have fun or just chill. The teachers tell parents that the homework should not take more than 30-60 minutes per class, but in reality, work for a single class can take three or more hours. As a result, the kids go to bed extremely late and have to get up extremely early.”

        The problem is, to learn complicated things, you have to spend a lot of time on them. You are going to learn less about writing/math/chemistry, etc. if you spend 30 minutes a night instead of an hour. So, in my opinion, reducing courseload means decreasing academic standards.

        Do you disagree that people are suggesting less homework as a solution? Or do you disagree that less homework means a worse education?

        To be fair, people have mentioned a few other things, such Coaches/practice. But in terms of concrete things schools can change, I see mostly that and homework mentioned. If there are other areas, please point them out to me.

        • NutshellsGuy

          You wrote: “The problem is, to learn complicated things, you have to spend a lot of time on them. You are going to learn less about writing/math/chemistry, etc. if you spend 30 minutes a night instead of an hour. So, in my opinion, reducing courseload means decreasing academic standards.”

          That would be true IF the amount a person learns in a single session of study were linearly related to the amount of time put in studying, ad infinitum. This is not how the human brain works.

          For high-school-aged students, this relationship only holds true up to about 2-2.5 hours of homework per night (assuming a full day of classes prior). Beyond that amount of time, there is essentially NO additional learning overall, or even a degradation in the amount learned. Cramming those extra facts and concepts in actually weakens the learning of what the person has previously taken in, with a net constant or declining result beyond the level achieved at 2 or so hours.

          This is not true for learning that’s accomplished in repeated amounts that don’t exceed the learners capacity, day after day. In that scenario, the more time put in the more learned. But it truly is a “slow and steady wins the race” kind of thing. (How the brain works in memory and learning is fascinating, and there’s a ton of new discoveries all the time.)

          Here’s an interesting example of how counterintuitive learning can be. I am an engineer. I worked for 6 years after undergrad, then went back to grad school. My work was all government policy and non-technical stuff, practically nothing of what I learned in college. All my grad school classmates, on the other hand, had just graduated at the top of their classes from top schools around the world. (I went to MIT, so I’m not exaggerating.)

          Since I was switching engineering majors, many of my grad courses were in topics that I never had as an undergrad. One of two courses I had as both an undergrad and a grad student was thermodynamics, and as an undergrad I did well but not outstanding by any means. However, during the six years of NO exposure, the material I had learned as an underground had somehow integrated and internalized within me, and I got the top score in the class. My classmates were much, much faster at calculations, but I had the benefit of the time for the concepts to mature within me … without working on it!

          • kMeansWhat

            I’d love to see the study which can pinpoint it to 2-2.5 hours a day, if you can link to it! As an engineer, you must have spent much longer days studying in college and grad school, though; I am also in a mathematical/engineering field and spend at least 6-8 hours a day on school work. Do our minds just mature a lot between high school and college? Or do you think that college education is flawed as well, as far as coursework goes?

          • kMeansWhat

            by the way, I appreciate your willingness to engage in courtesy discourse; often times, these forums can get name-call-y very quickly.

          • NutshellsGuy

            Thank you. Here’s a study that’s often cited. It’s long and highly academic, but the punchline is found at the bottom of p. 52: “We found only one study that permitted interpretation regarding optimum homework amounts. Lam (1996) found that for Caucasian American and Asian American high school students the strongest relationship between homework and achievement was found among students reporting doing 7 to 12 hours of homework per week, followed by students reporting doing 13–20 hours per week. This finding extends the conclusions from the earlier synthesis because it was not able to make a distinction in time spent on homework per night beyond 2 hours for high school students. Assuming that the causal direction of these findings is predominantly one in which more homework causes better achievement, the Lam (1996) finding suggests that the optimum benefits of homework for high school students might lie between 1-1⁄2 and 2-1⁄2 hours.”

            The author also has a more readable book about the subject, called The Battle Over Homework; the same conclusion is cited on p. 34.

            I’ll give a link to another, very readable article in a separate post so that the links are all live.

            http://larrycuban.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/review-of-educational-research-2006-cooper-1-62.pdf

          • kMeansWhat

            Thanks for the links! I’ll give it a read. I do worry a little about causation problems, i.e the best students are bright enough that they can finish their homework in less time. But I should actually look at the paper before complaining too much.

          • bacigalupe

            Research example: Interesting longitudinal 2013 study:

            To Study or to Sleep? The Academic Costs of Extra Studying at the Expense of Sleep
            Full Link here: http://www.highschoolengineering.com/Downloads/ForDaytoDayOnSupportPage/ResearchArticleSleep.pdf

            Presumably, when students choose to trade sleep
            for studying, they do so because they believe that
            the increased studying will help their grades. On
            the one hand, this strategy may be effective
            because, overall, study time is associated with aca-
            demic achievement. On average, students who
            spend more time studying tend to do better on
            achievement tests (Fuligni & Stevenson, 1995). Stu-
            dents who have high grade point averages (GPAs)
            study for an average of about three fourths of an
            hour longer on weeknights than their peers who
            have low GPAs (Witkow, 2009). On the other hand,
            sacrificing sleep, even for additional studying, may
            be an ineffective strategy because average time
            spent sleeping also contributes to higher achieve-
            ment. Students whose schedules include more
            hours of sleep per night tend to have higher grades
            than their peers who sleep for fewer hours (Wolf-
            son & Carskadon, 2003). When students are sleep
            deprived, they experience greater fatigue at school
            the following day, and greater fatigue can make
            learning more difficult (Giannotti, Cortesi, Sebas-
            tiani, & Ottaviano, 2002). Furthermore, sleep is a
            key restorative process during which consolidation
            of learning takes place (Diekelmann & Born, 2010).
            Thus, additional study time, when it comes at the
            expense of sleep time, may not benefit achievement
            as much as students think.

          • bacigalupe

            Duke Study: Homework Helps Students Succeed in School, As Long as There Isn’t Too Much http://shar.es/FuftU

          • kMeansWhat

            Thanks for the article; it was a very interesting read! And by doing student-self comparisons, they controlled for the problem I mentioned above, which is nice

            I think the picture they paint is complex, though. Their final results show that once you control for the amount of sleep, extra studying has no significant correlation w/ academic problems. This does seem to lend credence to the idea that extra studying does not really help. I think there are a few caveats, though.

            The study look at academic problems the next day, based on studying the night before; however, as any high school student will tell you, the nights you study most are the ones that proceed a test/presentation/paper that you are not prepared for and feel the need to cram for. The study does not control for this 3rd variable (to their credit, they do not claim to, and admit the study leaves out some aspects of student life.). It would have helped to add some variable, like confidence about success in the next school day, controlled for that, and see if studying still did not help.

            The study also could have aggregated the data, to reduce this noise, and just looked at whether average hours of studying per night correlated with better performance. At the start of the paper, they mention a paper which claims to show that that is the case: more studying means better performance on achievement tests.

            Finally, they add in the conclusion that:

            “It is important to underscore that our results do
            not suggest that it is problematic for adolescents to
            spend more time studying overall.”

            So, I think we are right to point out that studying to the point of losing sleep, is probably bad, but it is less clear that more studying does not help at all.

          • kMeansWhat

            Incidentally, thank you for writing the article; I am not sure we totally agree, but these are good things to talk about.

          • NutshellsGuy

            Here’s the other article worth reading, called The Case For and Against Homework in the March 2007 issue of Educational Leadership.

            Note this comment from that article:

            “Cooper, Robinson, and Patall (2006) also issued a strong warning about too much homework: Even for these oldest students, too much homework may diminish its effectiveness or even become counterproductive. (p 53)

            “Cooper (2007) suggested that research findings support the common “10-minute rule” (p. 92), which states that all daily homework assignments combined should take about as long to complete as 10 minutes multiplied by the student’s grade level. He added that when required reading is included as a type of homework, the 10-minute rule might be increased to 15 minutes.

            “Focusing on the amount of time students spend on homework, however, may miss the point. A significant proportion of the research on homework indicates that the positive effects of homework relate to the amount of homework that the student completes rather than the amount of time spent on homework or the amount of homework actually assigned. Thus, simply assigning homework may not produce the desired effect—in fact, ill-structured homework might even have a negative effect on student achievement. Teachers must carefully plan and assign homework in a way that maximizes the potential for student success (see Research-Based Homework Guidelines).”

            Cheers! – NutshellsGuy

            http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/mar07/vol64/num06/The-Case-For-and-Against-Homework.aspx

  • Karen Ziminski

    Great article. Finland’s students regularly have some of the highest test scores in the world, but they don’t burn themselves out with homework.

    • kMeansWhat

      Do you have any data on the comparison between US student’s stress and Finland student stress?

      • Karen Ziminski

        No hard data, but I have read many articles that talk about the attitude in Finland that the schools emphasize cooperation rather than competition. Article in Wall Street Journal says Finnish students rarely do more than a half hour of homework per night.

      • bacigalupe

        About this debate:
        http://www.stgeorges.qc.ca/uploaded/StGeorges_Website/Community/ParentPage/links/Homework_or_Not_That_is_the_(Research)_Question_Tabloid.pdf

        In 2012, Finland and South Korea came in at numbers 1 and 2, respectively, on the Global Index of Cognitive Skills and Education Attainment, which ranks countries based on international test scores, literacy, and graduation rates (the United States was ranked at number 17). Though their students occupy the top spots globally, these two nations approach homework and learning in radically different ways.

        Finland follows a European educational model, characterized by short school days and few homework assignments. South Korea, like many East Asian countries, in contrast, has long school days followed by tutoring sessions and a focus on rote learning
        assignments. “It is hard to find two education systems more different,” says the rankings report “The Learning Curve: Lessons in Country Performance in Education.” The report adds, “Closer examination, though, shows that both countries develop high-
        quality teachers, value accountability and have a moral mission that underlies education efforts.”

  • cdyer

    Not sure the answer is for the schools to point fingers at the parents, and the parents to point fingers at the schools.
    I fear that more parent involvement at the high school level could really confound the system.
    Yes, there are lots of highly educated people in Newton, but each has their own opinion, and if all the opinions, perspectives, levels of expertise (along with egos and in some cases, very strong entitlements) need to be addressed, it seems to me that the business of teaching our kids will become impossible.
    What are possible solutions?
    On the federal/state level, let’s lobby for annual mental health screening check ups for all adults, and bi-annual for teenagers and young adults. A first step that needs to be taken to de-stigmatize and normalize caring for our mental health. Make ‘asking for mental help’ commonplace. As commonplace as seeing an orthopedic surgeon for a broken leg.
    On the community level, ok, focusing on Newton (I’m a Newton parent too), let the parents organize their expertise, opinions, offerings, separately from the schools. Let the schools do the same, and hire a city liaison position, or committee, to work between the two groups to actively sort through what may be useful to implement and how. Fund this position, since clearly we cannot afford to not take action, and fund grants to implement programs that are comprised of cogent ideas from both groups. Evaluate programs that arise out of this collaboration regularly, and scrap the bad, keep the effective or combine different things until we have something that is actually useful.

    • NutshellsGuy

      Some good thoughts here. You are right to be concerned that it not turn into chaos or otherwise fail. But I’m not sure what the right way to organize it would be.

  • cdyer

    Not sure the answer is for the schools to point fingers at the parents, and the parents to point fingers at the schools.
    I fear that more parent involvement at the high school level could really confound the system.
    Yes, there are lots of highly educated people in Newton, but each has their own opinion, and if all the opinions, perspectives, levels of expertise (along with egos and in some cases, very strong entitlements) need to be addressed, it seems to me that the business of teaching our kids will become impossible.
    What are possible solutions?
    On the federal/state level, let’s lobby for annual mental health screening check ups for all adults, and bi-annual for teenagers and young adults. A first step that needs to be taken to de-stigmatize and normalize caring for our mental health. Make ‘asking for mental help’ commonplace. As commonplace as seeing an orthopedic surgeon for a broken leg.
    On the community level, ok, focusing on Newton (I’m a Newton parent too), let the parents organize their expertise, opinions, offerings, separately from the schools. Let the schools do the same, and hire a city liaison position, or committee, to work between the two groups to actively sort through what may be useful to implement and how. Fund this position, since clearly we cannot afford to not take action, and fund grants to implement programs that are comprised of cogent ideas from both groups. Evaluate programs that arise out of this collaboration regularly, and scrap the bad, keep the effective or combine different things until we have something that is actually useful.

  • Guest

    I went to Newton North and remember the pressure to get everything done. I don’t remember it coming from my parents or from my teachers. I remember it coming from my friends. The pervasive message was that you had to be really successful to get into a good college. But when your standard high school student would be a stand out student at many other schools, you feel the need to do more. To achieve more and participate in more than your friends. Does anyone else remember this article? http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/01/education/01girls.html?_r=0 I feel like there needs to be a shift from the abstract conversation of 2007 to real, concrete changes. I’m greatful for the skills I learned at NNHS and think its helped me to be successful in my career, but there needs to be a shift to create healthier, happier students.

  • NutshellsGuy

    I think people need to be reminded that the author is not “blaming the suicides on homework.”

    The author’s message is this:

    “The official message appears again to continue accepting this situation as an individual or family problem, rather than part of a collective narrowness and craze about achievement.”

    So he is talking about a *collective* issue of “craze about achievement,” which can be a contributing factor to depression, health issues, and other consequences.

    Why is talking about this controversial? I think more good has been done by this article, and the comments expressing all points of view, than would have been done by leaving the topic alone.

    I suggest that all parties involved – teachers, students, parents, and NPS administration – take some steps to further the dialog in a meaningful way.

    In addition to dialog, something like a study can be done at one or two middle schools, or even one of the high schools, in which the school truly enforces the stated homework limitations for half of a grade level (say for 2 years), and leaves the status quo for the other half for that time. The performance impact – positive, negative, or neutral – can be tracked, as well as other measurements geared toward assessing well-being. I’m sure someone can design it better than this, but I wanted to toss out the idea.

  • Alex Gribov

    I graduated Newton North last year. I spent my first two and a half years slacking off, getting average grades, and having plenty of time to socialize, but by senior year I decided to step up my game, take a bunch of AP’s, and ace them all. And I did. And I worked managed my time well enough that I was happy and kept my social life. That year of “hard work” was easy compared to the workload I now face in college. I believe that pushing kids to work hard and compete isn’t the problem, it gets them ready for real life. In fact if it was up to me, almost every student would complete Calculus II by graduation (I’m appalled at how weak the math curriculum is across the US). But what I don’t like about the school system, is the separation of knowledge from interest. Kids are batched into groups by age, taking the same core classes as all of their peers, with a minimal regard for learning level, personal strengths and weaknesses, and above all interest. The math teacher teaches math, and the English teacher teaches English, but noone looks at a student as a whole, evaluates what they love to do, and what they want to do in life, and helps them to arrange their classes around that. My senior year was the only year I enjoyed learning, and it was because I got to pick classes I loved. I got to take AP psych as a history course, and I worked hard because it peaked my interest. I’ve hated books since reading The Odyssey (while simultaneously being introduced to video games) in 6th grade. I skipped most of my required readings in favor of sparknotes all the way through junior year. But senior year I took a class that let me read any book I want, and write about whatever topic I chose, and I tore through 18 books of my choice that year and wrote countless essays about my views of life. Allowing me to choose what I learn, and be responsible for my own education is what put pleasure into studying, and it’s a shame that you are not given that kind of control until senior year.

  • pauly2468

    Is it any wonder that Social Darwinism is so prevalant in the US?How can we resolve or even address issues of poverty,homelessness,climate change etc if even the future leaders are awash in struggles for survival and dominance?

  • Sabata

    Normally I don’t comment on stories like this, but in this instance I feel compelled to.

    I graduated from Newton North in 2009, as a somewhat “average” student, and by average I mean I had roughly a 3.0 by common college GPA calculations. I applied to only one college, UMass Amherst, and got it. (I’ve just recently graduated there)

    There are two major points I’d like to make in regards to this. The first is that I can 100% confirm that in my high school career there was tremendous pressure from the school system to be as high an achiever as AT LEAST the currently highest achiever. However it’s important to note that students’ reactions to that pressure differ in many ways. I can only speak for myself but I gave up trying my best around sophomore year when it became clear that I could not do as much as the top achievers. Coming from a divorced family and dealing with plenty of teenage issues there was no way I could have been a star athlete, gotten a 4.0 and taken AP classes without losing my mind. I did just enough to maintain at least Bs in all my classes, getting occasional As, but not really caring because there was no way I could be the best (cynical teenage thought.) Who knows how much better I might have done had I not seen the system as stacked against me, but it’s possible that was as much my fault as the schools.

    The second, and more important, point is that the effect the loss of a classmate can have on students CANNOT be overstated. A student died a few years back in a tragic car crash, and one of my friends, who had been good friends with him, still carries that grief years later, even WITH help from counselors, and memorial services. I can barely stand to think how much of an effect it would still have on her if it had not been for those amenities. The losses felt by the newton community NEED to be addressed.

    Life is fragile and precious, and should be treated as such. Callously ignoring that fact around people who are still developing their self concept is a recipie for disaster.

  • NutshellsGuy

    One thing that’s very ironic about this conversation is that so many are denying that the huge homework loads exist, or say that it’s within a students control – yet all the administrators we have spoken to have acknowledged to us that homework loads in middle school are much larger than they used to be, and it gets much worse in high school.

    They just told us either that they don’t see it as a problem or have indicated that they don’t believe that they can change the system (with the clear implication that the levels above them think that this is how it should be).

    I trust what these administrators are saying, because they get to see *all* of the students’ experiences, not just the ones who breeze through or take light loads to avoid lots of homework.

    Anyway, it all comes back to the fact that it has been shown that the optimum amount of homework time – for *educational* purposes – for high school is about two hours per night, two and one-half perhaps for seniors. More than that just doesn’t improve outcomes, and in fact has a negative effect on students.

    Finally, as adults, how many of us can’t relate to the sheer oppression of the huge work project that requires us to not only work our full workday but also nights and weekends. Now imagine you are 15 or 16 again, and have to do that for 9 months in a row, about 4 of them in the dreary winter. What kind of quality of life is that? I can understand sacrifice, believe me – I worked even harder than that through a long (>6 years) graduate school program – but NOT when it’s unnecessary and in fact counterproductive relative to the goal. It’s sheer madness. Wake up, Newton parents and policy makers.

    • Call Me Carlos the Dwarf

      The homework loads in middle school are insane and counterproductive, but they are also absolutely not indicative of the workloads at high school.

      Of course, maybe that’s just because I took a “light load” of 11 Honors/AP classes from 10th-12th grade to “avoid lots of homework.”

      • NutshellsGuy

        Excellent, and thanks for the data point.

        One thing that it tells us unequivocally is that “it can be done,” which is important to know. But interpreting more from that single data point requires some more information:

        - Relative to your classmates, were you in the bottom, middle, or top third of time it took to finish homework?

        - Were your grades in the top, middle, or bottom of the classes?

        - How many students were there in the classes?

        • Call Me Carlos the Dwarf

          I was probably in the bottom third in terms of time it took me to finish it once I started, but I’m also highly disorganized and have/had a serious procrastination problem when I’m not in season, so I might actually fit your definition of someone who breezed or coasted through.

          I’ve always been more of a college-style learner, (I can memorize stuff extremely easily, by hearing and reading about it only care about stuff that will help me succeed on tests and papers) and high school is basically designed to help kids with the opposite of my profile. Assignments designed as grade-boosters for kids on the lower end, like taking notes on a chapter in Chem or Vocab books in English, usually hurt my grade, because I prioritized work that helped me learn over ones reinforcing concepts that had been explained several times in class. So, when I got an A on the test, it usually averaged out to a B+ due to the missing assignments.

          Anyway, when I did do all of my homework, each assignment usually took between twenty minutes and an hour of continuous work. No single-night assignment took longer than a free block, when I remembered to do it. On a typical night in 10th and 11th grade, I did 3/4 of my assignments and went to bed by 10:30, usually having forgotten or neglected to do something like a 20-30 minute language assignment.

          Because of my whole “not doing homework I deemed unnecessary until senior year” issue, I was a B+ student in History, English, Language and Science and a B- in Math, because I rarely, if ever, got lower than 90 on non-Math tests or lower than a B on writing assignments, along with avid class participation.

          Senior year, when I realized that I needed to get better than Bs to go to the schools I was interested in, I was consistently in the top of the class while never going to bed later than 12:30, except when there was a paper due that I hadn’t started yet.

          In my history and English classes, there were never more than 25 kids. In my Language classes, there were never more than 20 kids. In my Math and Science classes, there were usually between 25 and 30 kids.

          I’ve always cared far more about learning than about my grades, so I might not especially representative of that illusory “quintessential South student,” but the “academic culture of high-achievement” or whatever had very little to do with the stress I dealt with during my four years there.

          • NutshellsGuy

            Thanks for sharing the info, and sorry I haven’t responded yet. Work is getting in the way … I used to procrastinate a lot too, but having a family cures that real quick!

  • Anon

    I go to Acton-Boxborough and I definitely feel the pressure that this article talks about. If you listen to most of the conversations in school, they’re about college, homework, stress, classes and tests. There’s never any time for discussion about what we’re feeling, or going out for movies, gossiping etc. Our whole lives are centered around work. It feels as if walls are closing in and there’s no escape. This issue needs to be solved, stat. For the sake of the future generations, and to make the lives better for the current one.

    • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

      It gets better. Its called college. Your problems are nothing new, everyone that went to high school had to deal with them. You’ll get over it.

      • NutshellsGuy

        I must not have gone to high school, then. Somehow I learned a lot without all the pressure and overwork.

        • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

          So you never had to do multiple hours of homework after school?

          • NutshellsGuy

            Of course I did. A couple of hours, though, is a lot different from what the person who posted described. My whole life was not centered around work.

      • Anon

        uh why do you think these kids committed suicide?

        • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

          I have no idea. I didn’t know the kids and I’m not their therapist. I’d venture to guess though that they had much more going on in their lives than just too much homework/stress from school. There is never a simple answer to why someone committed suicide. Yes, there are often external factors, but a lot of it has to do with the person’s mental health. In tragic situations like this, people search for easy answers when there are none. They try to rationalize and explain, when often there is no explanation. Unfortunately, I know people who committed suicide. All of us who were close to them searched for answers, and none of them were enough to bring us closure. Really, the only answers that we knew were true where from a note (the other person didn’t leave one). There’s no way to know for sure what is going on in someone’s mind when the take their own life. The only answers can come from any writing that person left behind. Trying to point fingers and assign blame is not healthy.

          • Anon

            i’m saying that a big factor was stress coming from the school and friends around them about getting into college and overachieving

          • Call Me Carlos the Dwarf

            Are you Haley Joel Osment, or are you just speculating about the thoughts and feelings of three different individuals who you didn’t even go to school with?

            The fact is that none of us know why.

          • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

            And did they tell you this, or are you just speculating and guessing about things you have no way of knowing about?

    • NutshellsGuy

      Please do what you can to take care of yourself. My own personal “wall expander” is to get exercise. Having a conversation with someone with whom you can express these issues and will not judge you is also really, really helpful. Do any of your friends and acquaintances feel like this too?

      Best of luck. Please keep reaching out and find someone who hears you and has your interests at heart.

  • Sam

    Blaming the suicides on schoolwork is a gross oversimplification of a very complex series of issues these kids faced. In the face of tragedy, society loves to pinpoint singular things to blame, but there was a lot going on that none of us knew about; much more than pressure from the school.

    • NutshellsGuy

      You are right.

      However, the author’s message is this:

      “The official message appears again to continue accepting this situation as an individual or family problem, rather than part of a collective narrowness and craze about achievement.”

      So he is not blaming the suicides simply on homework. He is talking about an issue of “craze about achievement” that can be a contributing factor to depression, health issues, and other consequences.

      • Sam

        Fair enough. I just hope that no one at school thinks anyone did what they did solely because of the pressure from school.

  • Guest

    I’m currently at Newton North and there is no way that I have less than 2 hours of homework a night. I also participate in theatre and other extra-curriculars so i need to manage my time well but that is easier said than done! Although I do not feel pressure when it comes to college (hey, I’ll get into somewhere right? does it really matter where?? I don’t think so), I do feel a lot of stress coming from teachers and my AP classes. For example last month we had a death in the family and that took a heavy toll on my health and grades. But one thing that keeps me motivated is simply thinking ahead and looking forward to stuff during the week. I remind myself that it will get better even though I get stuck sometimes, but that’s natural.

  • mm1029

    I am heart broken to read another story about youth suicide, particularly in the community where I was born, raised, and educated. To any teen reading this, please know that things can get better, that there are people out there available to support you, and that you deserve to be heard.

    The issue at hand is an incredibly large-scale issue – one where we can’t simplify and point fingers alone at parenting styles, familial high expectations, school culture, or peer interactions. It is all of these things – on such a micro-level – it is every interaction added up together.

    I remember countless experiences in middle school when teachers spoke about their preferred colleges for their own children, all of which were Ivy League. In hindsight, I don’t know how others responded to it since I didn’t even want to bring it up with any friends. But I was deeply affected by it. As a previous poster noted, there were indeed many conversations with peers, other families, and counselors where it seemed like every single non-Ivy school failed in comparison. There was often judgment linked to questions about how many AP classes one was taking. As a teen, it is hard to imagine and believe that a world exists outside of Newton in which there may be very different, very flexible levels of acceptance, achievement, and what is meant by ‘success’. It is so important that our youth are reminded of this. That things will and do get better and that they can be in control of defining their own successes. Success isn’t limited to the gripping stereotypes that Newton youth may be so concerned about meeting.

    I think we all have a responsibility to be aware of the weight of our words, the subtleties of how we respond to conversations about AP versus ‘regular’ classes, early versus ‘regular’ admissions, those schools with the ivy tours versus ‘the others’. Every teen wants to be heard, appreciated, and loved for who they are. Hopefully we as a community can provide this to all of the youth.

    • NutshellsGuy

      Very well said!

  • Charlie

    For a year I went to a school where teachers expected absolutely nothing from kids. Seniors were graduated because the teachers didn’t want to see them around another year. 0% of kids went to college. Now I go to a competitive public high school in a town near Newton. Teachers expect us to succeed, along with parents and guidance counselors. How each student defines success is up to them. I spend 4-6 hours on homework each night, but I’m grateful I have the opportunity to get the education I’m getting out of those hours. I think it’s hard to realize how lucky we are until we realize how unlucky we aren’t.

    And I don’t play any sports but as a senior I have already heard back from 3 (admittedly non-ivy) colleges with acceptances. Clearly extras aren’t the only thing colleges are looking for as some commentors implied…grades, interviews, essays, test scores, and luck are also factors. Yes, high school is stressful…but it’s only 4 years! (5 for me actually, because I stayed back, but that’s not the point) After that it’s time to really start picking your own goals and life choices because you’re not going to have teachers and counselors around to help you through it.

    • Call Me Carlos the Dwarf

      “Admittedly non-Ivy”? There’s no need to qualify the fact that you got into three schools. Some of the smartest kids I know go to “non-Ivy” schools.

      Congratulations, man.

  • zlatky

    Although I do agree with this, the issue is not the amount of work. I personally go to Newton South and I was best friends with someone that recently took their life. My friend didn’t make the decision she did because of the workload and stress, its a completely different issue that never is mentioned and seems to be unrecognized as an issue. Newton South has problems of addiction drugs and alcohol. Many students do really well in school but trust me, almost everyone I see at South has some issues going on inside. We focus too much on anti-bullying at South and don’t focus on the real issues. South really needs help. Ive seen my best friend go and I’m not ready to loose another.

  • Anonymous

    I am a senior at Newton South high school and I would just like to say that I have a lot of friends who take more AP/honors classes than they can handle. Everyday I hear at least one of them complain about how much work they’re getting but it’s not the teachers fault. That student decided to take on those classes not the teacher. Even towards the beginning of the year I would hear them complain about the amount of work they were getting and I would suggest for them to drop down to a curriculum 1 class. If a student is going to take an AP/honors class then they should know that there is going to be more work than usual. No one is forcing them to take such difficult classes, at least non of the teachers are.
    Newton South also gives out a lot of help when it comes to the students education. They have programs such as Compass to help kids who are really struggling in school. They also offer different leveled curriculum’s. If you’re son or daughter is struggling so much with their classes then have them drop to a lower curriculum. I would rather take an easier class and get an A than to take a more difficult class and get a D.
    No one should be blaming teachers for the stress of their children. A student, his/her parents, and their guidance counselor should be able to recognize when the student isn’t doing well in a class.
    As for kids not getting any time to go out…..well they must be finding the time to go out with their friends somewhere, because I see a lot of people from my school going out to parties at least once a week.
    Even though it’s easy to point fingers at the teachers, they shouldn’t be the ones getting blamed. Students should be taking responsibility for the management of their work. High school is supposed to prepare young adults to go off to college and if your child doesn’t know how to advocate for themselves by senior year then there is a bigger problem out there. It’s okay to not take so many AP/honors classes. It also makes it a lot easier if parents are their to support them through their decisions. Parents need to make sure that their child feels comfortable with telling them that they are not doing well in school or need help. No student should ever feel that they are a lone when they feel that they are not succeeding, it only puts more stress onto them.

    • mb495

      It’s the amount of time needed to do homework, not the level of the course. My daughter has 3 curric-1 classes and 2 honors classes. Typically, all 3 curric-1 classes give 1 or more hours of homework per night (English consistently gives the most homework beyond 1 hour, with the least notice — i.e. “due tomorrow”), 1 of the honors classes gives 1 hour of homework per night, and the other honors class (math) regularly gives 2 hours per night. Taking curric-1 (the new “advanced college prep” level) does NOT ensure that there is less homework per night than honors classes.

  • Zacharias

    I think that the issue goes much deeper than just the Newton School System. The academic industry, and I use this word on purpose, is a well run business. HIgher education universities form high schools and grammar schools in their image. One cannot expect Newton to stop teaching for the SAT, urging their kids to build resumés, and participate in extracurriculars if the rest of the country does not take a stand. They will simply lose acceptance rates, their school system will fall in the ratings, houses will become worth less money, etc… The list goes on, but education and scores factor into a lot more than just the students attending the classes. As a current BC student who attended private school north of Boston, I can assure you that I have felt the pressure first hand, but that the problem lies in the nature of how we judge students as a whole. There is a lack of appreciation for the arts and degrees have come to lose their value. Undergraduate studies are the new high school, Masters Degrees the new Undergrad, and PhDs the new Masters… Until we change this form of judgment and stigma against students who do not test well, there will be more and more who are simply prescribed some adderal or vyvanse and told to calm down. If you want to hear an insightful speech on the destructive nature of America and most of Western Europe’s education systems, watch Sir Ken Robinson’s TED talk: http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity.html

  • Guest

    I’m a former South student and remember seeing kids crying in the hallways, devastated, because they didn’t get into Brandeis, or whichever other bullshit, name-brand school they thought would give them bragging rights.

    The goal posts are misaligned, because these kids are raised in a culture of one-upping. They are led to believe that the “best” school they get into is actually the “best” choice for them, without being educated about the financial black-hole that awaits them post-grad.

    It’s painful to speculate on the specific reasonings for these suicides, but I don’t think its out of line to suggest that more of these kids are realizing that the system they’re set up in and the path they’re being pressured to take is total bullshit.

    It’s such a shame that anyone that age could lose hope so easily and completely, and we should all feel responsible because we’ve deferred changing the systems and structures that determine our public education for far too long.

    It’s a systemic problem and parents, teachers, administrators, students are all at fault.

    Here’s a great article that highlights some changes we could make:
    http://qz.com/148393/the-four-ways-to-really-fix-education-that-no-one-wants-to-hear/

  • visionsblue

    As an NSHS alum, I cannot disagree more with this article.
    I graduated NSHS in 2005, and I was very depressed the entire time I was there, but it was not the “culture of achievement” enforced by the teachers, but rather a culture of entitled affluence–particularly on behalf of the parents. Newton South High is comprised of mostly students coming from extremely wealthy backgrounds, and is extremely lacking in racial diversity. As a multiracial student, I often felt lonely, isolated, and misunderstood.
    Honestly what I witnessed more than anything else was individuals manipulating the system with their privilege. I witnessed so many helicopter parents being overly involved with their students’ education, and pressuring teachers into given them better grades. I also remember a lot of students who really didn’t work that hard, skipped class, and still got into great schools. People would joke, “Ugh, if all else fails there is always UMass”. I don’t think people in Newton realize what a privilege it is to be able to afford to go to college in the first place, let alone “a top school”. The fact that students could casually joke about a good state school as being a default or failure is an insult to the many young people who are desperate for opportunities of higher education.
    I could go on and on critiquing Newton’s culture, but the hardest thing for me to grapple with is that as much as I didn’t like the social culture (one that was extremely self-absorbed–whether it be a preoccupation with material things or individual success) I did receive a damn good free public education, and I had teachers and guidance counselors who really cared for me. Quite frequently, my teachers were the only voice of reason providing support and wisdom on the fact that the world is much bigger than Newton South. When I went to college I met the most amazing, passionate group of young people who were thoughtful, critical thinkers with independent thought. Fostering discussion and new ideas was valued more so than the perfect score, and that environment was where I was most happy in my young adolescent life.
    The idea that grades or SAT scores=success is also ridiculous. I got some C’s while I was in Newton Schools, and you know what? I got into a great college. While attending that college, I also received C’s in some of my coursework, and I am currently attending an Ivy League graduate school in a competitive field.

    The deaths of these young people is an absolute tragedy, but to put it on the educators of this community is ludicrously offensive. The teacher’s are not obsessed with which colleges the students attend. There is pressure to do well in high school, but its not coming from the staff.

    • Lauren Berman

      Well said; I couldn’t agree with you more. The schools aren’t the problem. For many kids, their teachers and guidance counselors are the voices of reason. Sadly, I feel we’re all culpable. We append value to meaningless goals—for some it’s the ivy league college we just have to get into or the perfect GPA or SAT superscore that absolutely must be attained. For others, it’s the ideal body weight or vision of physical perfection that must be reached. I don’t think this is a problem that’s limited to tony suburbs like Newton, but, perhaps it’s exacerbated here, because of our sense of entitlement. What worries me is that before we can effectively address the issue of teenage suicide, we have to concur on its causal factors. From the division of opinions expressed in
      this forum, I wonder if that can actually happen. It makes me sick to think that the three students who killed themselves were simply collateral damage for business as usual.

    • NutshellsGuy

      Good observations, though I still disagree with your implication that teachers aren’t putting excessive pressure on students, at least quite a few of them. I don’t actually have firsthand experience with South, but definitely with other schools in NPS.

      And I think that the experience of different students in the system can be different, as is evidenced by the range of experiences documented here.

      This dialogue going on here is what needs to happen directly between parents, students, teachers, and administrators. Hashing it out in the press is less effective. But many have requested that of NPS, yet it has never happened.

    • anonymous

      I think you’re really onto something. I attended Newton North in the mid- to late-nineties. The culture of the students sucked. I was depressed, isolated, deeply self-conscious, and over-scheduled, and I thought about suicide constantly. Many of the students were unfriendly, self-segregating, competitive, and obsessed with getting into a “good school,” which I now realize is a bunch of classist bullshit. Ever since finishing high school, I have been working to unlearn the social norms that I learned there. I wish I had grown up in a place where kids get to be kids and people don’t take themselves so seriously.

  • ahp411

    I commend Dr. Bacigalupe for writing this and for holding the school system accountable for the tremendous pressure it puts on students. Although I am 10 years out of high school, this article poignantly reminds me of my high school days in a similarly prestigious Northeastern school district. I remember school personnel telling me I wasn’t living up to my potential if I “settled” for the honor’s program at Boston College, insisting that I apply to all the Ivys and stay on the wait-list at Harvard (where I never wanted to go, anyway) until the bitter end to see if I got in. I remember my guidance counselor looking at my resume in my first college-prep meeting and saying, “You need to do more volunteering.” Meanwhile, I could not possibly have been more extracurricularly-committed in high school: I was class president every single year (and president of the entire school my senior year), took several AP classes, always made the honor roll, was in an a cappella group, and was always on a junior varsity or varsity sports team. And, I DID volunteer, nearly every Monday “holiday.”

    I agree with Dr. Bacigalupe about the critical nature of parental support. The only reason I maintained my sanity (and did not develop an eating disorder like many of my classmates) was because I had a supportive mother who battled this “nonsense.” She refused to get me an SAT tutor, limited my SAT prep, urged me to go lighter on my AP courses, and when necessary, addressed the school faculty about the pressure students were under. That being said, parents can only do so much without systemic support. I remember numerous conversations with my mother, while pulling an “all-nighter” (something, mind you, I have not done since high school–even though I am currently in a PhD program!), in which she would ask me, “Where does this pressure COME from?! I don’t care what grade you get on this test, please go to bed!”

    One of the comments addresses the fact that some Newton students have said that their first year of college was easier than high school. For me, all four years of a rigorous program at a high-ranked college was MUCH easier than high school. I would argue that in many ways, even getting my master’s degree from a similarly reputable university was easier than high school. It absolutely should not be that way. Why must we over-prepare our high school students at the immeasurable expense of their mental health?

  • Guest

    Although I do not agree with everything in this article, I applaud the writer for starting this conversation. Having recently graduated Newton South I feel that I am capable enough to reflect on my experience there and offer some suggestions.

    The NPS have many valuable resources however I believe they could be implemented better. The Guidance department at South is underutilized by the majority of the student body. Many students never get to know their counselors, and many counselors don’t get to know their students. I often wished I had a stronger relationship with my counselor but I only met with her when I had to change courses. I believe students and counselors should be forced to have more interactions. Perhaps have counselors become homeroom teachers and turn homeroom into a more beneficial time.

    There is a lack of community at Newton South, for many reasons. This point can be argued by some, but perhaps some proof is the lack of student attendance at athletic events, and overall lack in school spirit. It’s hard to build school spirit but with help from the athletic department I believe it is achievable. The AD should attempt to schedule more Friday/Saturday night games to increase attendance. The school should get lights on the fields, offer free admission to students wearing school colors, and get kids to support their friends.

    I suggest weekly loudspeaker announcements that give weekly recaps on not only athletics but everything, not only achievements but everything you feel could send a good message. The school should embrace old traditions (Powderpuff?) and start these new ones.

  • Atomic Man

    I am so sorry to hear about the suicides. I think the culture of the school system is unhealthy and focuses on the performance of the school rather than the well-being of the students.

    If your child is a round peg in a square hole of this disturbing school culture, use your judgment not the school’s. I was advised to put my son on ADHD medication by my son’s 4th grade teacher because “He would do better on the MCAS” and that it would wear off by the time he got home. The teacher then told me the names of every student in 4th grade at Pierce elementary school (one of the highest rated MCAS school in the state at the time) on ADHD medicine. A third of the kids were drugged every day in school to get these MCAS ratings. Hey West Newton parents I know which of your kids are drugged thanks to the school. Is it any surprise so many of these kids turned to pot and booze a couple years later (Newton North had the highest expulsion rate in the state for drug offenses a couple years ago)

    Kids should not have more than an hour of homework a night ever. If they have
    more it is because the school doesn’t know what they are doing. Busy work is
    not productive work. Don’t memorize something you can look up.
    To the kids, your performance in 11th grade does not determine if your life is a success or failure. Not everyone will be a straight A student but many straight A students end up working for a lot of C students who have better people skills and are better rounded people.

  • Guest

    I am so upset to hear of the recent suicides and feel that this is a sign of an unhealthy culture. It was my experience that the culture in the Newton schools was based on how the school rated, not the overall well-being of the student. I understand this issue is far larger than just Newton.

    When my son was in 4th grade in Newton the teacher told me several times that I should put my son on ADHD medication because “He would do better on the MCAS” and that it “would wear off when he got home”. She then proceeded to tell me the names of every child in his grade that was already medicated and it was over a third. I took him to the doctor and he was fine and did not need to be medicated. By the end of 8th grade I decided to leave the Newton Public schools and sent my son to Minuteman Regional High school which is a public regional high
    school that Newton students can attend if they wish to study subjects Newton
    does not support such as robotics, programming, biotech, plumbing etc.

    My son was significantly happier at Minuteman, had a reasonable work load and learned useful things. In 10th grade he took his MCAS and his state percentiles were significantly higher than they had ever been in Newton. Think about that, his MCAS percentiles were much higher than they were in Newton and he wasn’t being crushed like most of his friends from Newton were at a Newton high. I had
    no doubt that he would not have made these percentile gains had he stayed in
    Newton.

    Newton North had the highest expulsion rate in the state a couple of years ago and it was for drugs. Newton medicates their children with academic steroids (ADHD medicine) in elementary school and the kids move on to pot and alcohol in 5th and
    6th grade. Newton is great for some students but don’t count on these folks to tell you what is best for your child. That is your job to decide. That 4th grade teacher did not care about my son, only the state MCAS rating of the school.

  • Fwyrl

    I am a student at Newton South myself, and I definatly agree with what the writer is saying, though I would also say that the students also deserve some input, because right now, we have almost no say in anything, and there is no forum for us to discuss ideas on how the school can help us. Not just something that allows us to email the principal, but an open forum, that allows us to communicate with other students, teachers, staff, administration, ect. to try to solve some of the major problems that the school currently has. Something like this would also make it easier to gauge how the student body is feeling as a whole, allowing the administration to make better informed decisions.

    Both parents and students need a way to give input on the system, and I think the administration needs to be more proactive about how they make changes, not just say that it’s in place, and hope for the best, but actually do something to make sure it works.Homework-free weekends are a flop, because the teachers realize that they can follow the letter and not the spirit, and the administration does nothing. I had one teacher that flat out broke the rules regarding this, and no disciplinary actions were taken at all, because it happened again, the next homework free weekend.

    And the fact that we are expected to spend 30-60 minutes of homework, is just stupid. On our long days, we have 6 classes, that’s 3 hours of homework that we should expect (teachers mean 60 minutes, they just say 30-60 to sound better, I’ve never had less than 45 from one class when I diligently did the homework), and frequently, we get far more than 60 minutes of work per class, sometimes in excess of 90 minutes per class, for a normal class, and I’ve had upwards of 2.5 hours from just one AP class. I have a very light schedual for a NSHS student: only 2 AP classes, and at least 1 free block every day, and I do not have nearly enough time to do my work. With dinner taking an hour, and an hour set aside for showering, brushing teeth, hair, ect. and because the buses are terrible (slow, bad drivers), I get home at 5 to 5:30 PM on long days, leaving me with only an hour an a half to do homework, if I choose to starve myself of social interaction, relaxation, games, practicing my saxophone (I’m no longer in band, but I still practice, because it makes me happy), and reading books.

    So, if I deprive myself of everything that makes me happy, and healthy, I have 90 minutes to do 3-5 hours of homework. (that’s if I don’t have a project). This is, of course, unrealistic; I need to unwind, or I sleep less well than I already do, get more stressed, and do worse in class. So, I have to sacrifice my precious sleep, in order to finish my homework and relax. I cut my social interaction down to the 5 minutes in-between classes an during advisory, but even so, I’m going to bed far too late, and waking up far too early. This results, for most people, me included, in a less stable appetite, poorer attention span, weaker reasoning skills, a lower reaction time, less mental stability, and poorer physical health. This then leads to needing more relaxing time, and more time spent on homework, which repeats the cycle.

    This is what is wrong with the school system. It doesn’t listen, and is far too rigid in some places, and far too lax in others. Jack has helped things a bit, but we really need the administration to overhaul how the entire school works, how the teachers operate, and how the students handle these problems. I will admit, I don’t know how to fix some of these problems, like stress causing more sleep loss, causing more stress, but I do think this would make a good start.

    • ElliFrank

      Fwyrl, thanks for posting these honest, insightful reflections. I think you’ve really captured the situation accurately, and I respect how well you’ve put this.

      The time has come for the NPS Administration to do exactly what you’ve suggested: create opportunities — multiple types of opportunities — to listen to students. (As a parent, I’d like them to do the same with parents, too.) The Administration will never fully recognize or understand the problems that need to be addressed if it does not listen to the people who are really at the heart of this matter — the students who live with these issues every day.

      Thank you again for speaking out.

    • sumajo

      This is far and away the best comment I’ve read here. I hope this happens.

  • Katie Turkel Rosenfeld

    This is NOT the Newton school system, it is the parental culture in affluent high achieving towns across the country—where the expectation is for our kids to be an expert at something by age 12.
    I am sick to my stomach.
    This is not the way I was raised and I simply dont understand why as a generation, we do this to our kids.
    I am in the minority—an outcast—when I tell my kids they can not have an activity every day, when I demand that they stay home to decompress once or twice a week. My daughter who is a dancer is constantly pressured to dance more, be more, do more. The other moms think I am nuts when I say ‘no”. It is viewed as “unsupportive” of their interests when it’s actually me wanting the kids to relax a bit.
    It’s deeply upsetting and unless the parents take control, I don’t see it changing.
    Sadly,
    KR

  • Guest

    Moufy Interview about “Miss Newton” on NECN 7/18/11http://youtu.be/RqkZR_sVeOQ In July 2011 Jeffery Fortunato says he fictionalized issues in a song to help people be more aware, so they could reach out and help. The NECN announcer continues “Some in Newton say…teen suicide is an issue that needs attention.”

  • RF

    Can I just say something..? Im in the 10th grade and EVERYONE I know smokes weed. Like, everyone. Why would they need to if there wasn’t an excess amount of pressure? It’s turned my once close friends into douchebags that do stuff behind my back.

  • Guest

    NECN 2011 article on Newton and teen malaise. http://youtu.be/RqkZR_sVeOQ Jeffery Fortunato’s song fictionalized an issue to help people be aware “…so they can help each other…I wasn’t slamming anyone…Newton is just one well-known affluent city.” And says the NECN announcer “People in Newton say…teen suicide is an issue that needs attention.” July, 2011

    http://youtu.be/xW49WjM4UeM and

  • JustAnotherParent

    Any system gets more of what it rewards. The School Board aims for the highest achievement levels as measured in prestigious college acceptance rates, standardized test scores, etc., so as to maintain and enhance the real estate values in the town. The school admin and staff then try to please the School Board, and a vicious cycle sets in, where everybody competes for “excellence”. The stronger students generally benefit and thrive. The (spiritually) weaker students generally sink emotionally and break. Everybody else makes do with feeling inadequate.
    BUT – since it’s a public school, it must strive to educate and protect every student entrusted to the system. Anything else is a travesty and a civic crime, a betrayal of the children and their families. Imagine if as many as 50% of the students thrive, and “only” 10% of the students get hurt – would YOU risk your child to a system that breaks down every 10th, so as to benefit the top 10% and the real estate prices? I know I won’t…

  • RF

    We need to teach our kids to make jobs for themselves, NOT how to work for other people. They have no flexibility in their schedules anymore. A friend of mine a while back was doing so much sports and after-school activities, his mom made him drink energy drinks to keep himself going. We were in the 4th grade, and he would always tell me how miserable he was.

  • rebecca

    I apologize in advance for the long post but I promise it brings up some worthy ideas. As a Wellesley High School graduate, I have mixed feelings about the views of the author. I do feel that to some degree, high schools in towns such as Newton and Wellesley do put a lot of pressure on students through intense curricula. However, with increasing competition to get into top universities, how else are schools supposed to produce students that are competitive applicants to be accepted into these schools? Parents such as my own often choose to live in these towns solely for the exceptional education they offer and the knowledge that giving their child this type of education will prepare them to pursue any path in life they may chose. Unless the country as a whole decreases the demands being put on high school students (an unrealistic goal in my opinion), decreasing demands on students will only leave them unprepared to pursue higher education at top universities, a goal that will unquestionably remain.

    The major factor being overlooked is mental illness and depression. A student who is emotionally stable is likely able to identify that their source of unhappiness is high levels of pressure etc. and make life decisions that allow them to best deal with these challenges whether that be to learn to live with a B, replace an AP class for a lower level class, or drop an extracurricular activity. Students commit suicide when they are so far from this state that they would prefer to choose death over one of these options.

    Mental illness and depression is so stigmatized in our society that no one is even willing to admit that it is the cause of increasing suicides. Instead of looking to place blame on demanding curricula or parents, we need to come to terms with the fact that mental illness is a real thing, and is experienced by a large number of teenagers and young adults. How are young people supposed to feel comfortable or even know to seek help when no one will admit that this is what they suffer from. As a community we need to prioritize spreading awareness and acceptance of teenage depression and lower the stigma associated with seeking help. These teenagers need to be made aware that they DO NOT have to feel the way they do, there are ways out other than suicide, that happiness is a very real possibility.
    However, this change will take time, and if teenagers are not going to seek the
    help they need, we have a responsibility to provide it to them. Among other
    things, I believe that counseling should be mandatory at least two or three
    times a year in middle and high schools. That would allow students the opportunity to seek help and would hopefully allow schools to identify students who may not realize they need help. It is also the parents’ responsibilities to seek professional counseling for their children, especially ones who may show any signs at all of distress or of being overwhelmed.

    Pressures in life do not end after high school, they will be present at every stage of life. Instead of working to minimize these pressures, I believe we would benefit far more by working to promote the mental health of young people so that they learn to deal with the challenges life will inevitably throw at them in the most healthy way possible.

    • NutshellsGuy

      No one is saying to minimize pressure, only to make it be a healthy level that’s appropriate to the level of development of the 15-18 year old student.

      Counseling sounds good in principle, but in practice counseling by school personnel only works for some. Plus, my experience with school counselors is that they have an inherent bias to defend the policies of the schools and often pathologize parents and students who don’t fit their expectations.

  • guest

    As a graduate of the Newton schools and having many family members attend school here, I understand that there is a lot of stress happening because of school work. But having grown up here in the last 10 years or so, I feel like what is often overlooked is the issue of peer pressure and bullying. The community needs to also address the kids’ attitudes towards each other. I remember from my experiences just having a different name, or doing slightly better than a more “popular” student, several other peers in my grade would make fun of me and make a lot of snide remarks. Also from personal experience, I had a family member switch out of the Newton schools because several girls in her grade began to bully her and she no longer felt safe to attend school. We tried to work with the school administration, but they overlooked the problem and thought we were making a big deal over nothing.

  • John

    I don’t want to come across as unsympathetic, or misunderstanding, but this article makes all the wrong points. As a senior at a Newton Public High School, I can tell you better than anyone the amount of pressure is palpable. AP courses, and Honors programs, and college applications do provide a certain level of stress. Yet despite taking 2 APs, 1 Honors class, and working a part time job 5 days a week, I do not regularly feel overburdened. I think a lot of the problem comes from students not being comfortable in their own skin; students strive to emulate, and feel dissatisfied if they do not achieve as much as their peers, yet dealing with this dissatisfaction is a part of life. If you want to succeed, and have the highest grade in the class, yeah, you’re going to have to work for it. But that’s an intrinsic part of life outside the school system and the answer certainly is not to make it easier for all of the students. We get to decide which courses we take, not our teachers. If I end up at a starting position job and I never work harder than my peers, and I never try to do the best, chances are, someone else will. That someone else who worked hard is going to get a promotion over me. Life is all about dealing with a workload and determining what decisions are right for you. If you’re happy with your job, and with your salary, then yeah, go ahead, ease up. But if you want to achieve more, you’re going to have to work. Thats not just Newton. Thats life. In the same vein, if you’re happy with your grades and your achievements, then who cares what every else is doing. You are your own person. You should decide what is best for yourself.

  • BostonBridget

    The line between hard-working and overloaded is a very fine one.

    Dropping down one level in one class might be enough to take off some of the academic pressure (and an almost-guaranteed A is a big relief).

    Instead of doing a laundry list of extracurricular activities, choose one and excel at it. Being a varsity athlete is enough: there’s no need to get a bunch of “leadership” positions and try to intern as well.

    There’s no need to take the SATs every time they are offered (and in fact, it’s counterproductive). Giving a student a break helps them mentally and emotionally.

    Colleges are very willing to let students take gap years. Perhaps parents could plan on that gap year well in advance and give the student something to shoot for. (I took a gap year *during* law school – signed paperwork, dropped out, moved to California, and returned after a year with a suntan and an absurd amount of energy. My professors all said that they wished they had the guts to do something similar.) A gap year can be the light at the end of the tunnel.

    Likewise, get students to interact with adults who aren’t parents or teachers. All of us – as adults -have perspective on things we did right, things we did wrong, and how much it matters in the end (or doesn’t, really). Kids can’t get that perspective in high school when surrounded by their peers.

  • Student

    I am a student at Newton South and as a student who takes AP and Honors level classes, I can say that these presumptions that the pressures provided by these classes lead to these tragedies is incorrect. Obviously, each student takes on the workload in their own way, but in my experience, my peers and I have never been so overwhelmed with work or homework that our well-being was put at risk. I am also heavily involved in extracurricular activities both at South and unrelated and while balancing extracurriculars and schoolwork can be challenging, it is manageable. Again, this may not be the case for every student, but I can speak for myself as well as most of the students in my classes when I say that it does not lead to depression or any other serious issues. I think that it is unfair to blame the school. I think that what South needs to focus on is building a community. As much as the “Newton South Community” is referenced by teachers and administrators, this community really does not exist. We have no spirit, we have nothing really that ties us together as a school. We had one day a year that everyone really felt a part of Newton South, and that was the Thanksgiving Pep Rally/ Powderpuff event (I’m not trying to raise that issue here). I think we need to create an environment where every person feels valued and important. We need for the students to know how appreciated they are as individuals, boosting confidence and creating a sense of a caring community is the only thing that can stop kids from turning to these tragic outcomes…

  • SqueakyVoiceofReason

    In places like Newton and Brookline, where I now live and graduated from BHS there is the unspoken belief of privilege, power and success that is being shaken daily by the 21st century, post-industrial reality that is kicking everybody’s butt. Except the 1%, “We’re just fine, thanks.” Well, that is just dandy, isn’t it?

    NO. It isn’t. Because our children are paying the price the 1%s bloat and for our decades of political and moral inaction. The Hydra-like quality of the social-political challenges we face must be horrifying.

    After all, in schools like Brookline and Newton, we teach these young people to think and reason. They are the canaries in the coal mine. And their distress is felt across class lines. Like their less fortunate brothers and sisters living in economic hardship, we see once again, that poverty is a public health issue. Just like economic distress, emotional and social poverty are real and claim their victims every day.

  • SqueakyVoiceofReason

    Thanks to Dr. Baciagalupe for raising this issue. This is not about blame – and too much homework does not equal despair. There are deeper problems in our culture and schools are a natural meeting place. This is an opportunity to reflect and work to create a caring community.

    And…America and especially Newton is not falling behind in the world of education.

    The reasons why there are no jobs for our children has everything to to do with a 30 year romp of neo- conservative economic policy which has the whole planet by the throat – NOT, as the folks who benefit from this set up would have you believe, from any lack in the education of our middle and upper-middle class public school students. Don’t even get me started on the recent PISA stats. (http://www.schoolsmatter.info/2013/12/paul-krugman-cuts-through-bs-on.html)

  • Guest

    America and especially Newton is not falling behind in the world of education.

    Thanks for people like Dr. Baciagalupe for raising the issue! I hope people will take the opportunity to create caring community. This is not about blame – but about human possibility. In late 21st century, schools are where people meet and work in community and we really have no other gathering place. It seems reasonable to organize through the schools.

    The reasons why there are no jobs for our children has everything to to do with a 30 year romp of neo- conservative economic policy which has the whole planet by the throat – NOT, as the folks who benefit from this set up would have you believe, from any lack in the education of our middle and upper-middle class public school students. Don’t even get me started on the recent PISA stats. (http://www.schoolsmatter.info/2013/12/paul-krugman-cuts-through-bs-on.html)

    In places like Newton and Brookline, where I now live and graduated from BHS there is the unspoken belief of privilege, power and success that is being shaken daily by the 21st century, post-industrial reality that is kicking everybody’s butt. Except the 1%, “We’re just fine, thanks.” Well, that is just dandy, isn’t it?

    No. It isn’t. Because our children are paying the price for the 1%s bloat. And for our decades of political and moral inaction. The Hydra-like quality of the social-political challenges we face must be horrifying. After all, in schools like Brookline and Newton, we teach these young people to think and reason. They are the canaries in the coal mine. And their distress is felt across class lines. Like their less fortunate brothers and sisters living in economic hardship, we see once again, that poverty is a public health issue. Just like economic distress, emotional and social poverty are real and claim their victims every day.

  • James Clenson

    As a current Newton student I think a few things need to be cleared up.

    #1. I see a lot of people sympathizing with kids who are taking honors and AP classes but saying curriculum 1 and 2 are “easy” classes. I am the type of kid who takes a lot of Curriculum 1 an 2 classes and they are extremely vigorous for me. For me Curriculum 1 an 2 just as challenging as some students think honors and AP classes are.

    #2 All Newton schools give too much homework. I have been in the school system for 13 years (current senior), so you do not have to take it from some parent who is just guessing by how much their kid complains… If you think three hours a night is fair, I would like to see how many of you come back from the office everyday and work on papers and forums etc. instead of watching your favorite t.v. show. Give me a break there.

    #3 Most of the homework us kids are given is completely useless. Please feel free to tell me why LOGS are useful in Math, or the Stroma is useful in Biology, or memorizing the 85th element on the periodic table is helpful… I could go on for hours on this topic, and sure some of them can be debated, but 99% of what we learn is useless. I can not speak for everyone, but this is why we think homework is boring, who the heck cares about SOH CAH TOH (math term).

    #4 Newton is conservative, so expect almost no change. Even though Newton elects democratic politicians, have you ever seen major changes in the city. It stays the same and never changes, thats fine with me, but just keep that in mind when complaining. Complain to the right people, not post a comment here.

    Ok the most important thing,

    #5 MY BIGGEST PROBLEM is that people are not actually listened to in Newton. Why do you think there are so many comments here? Why do you think that there even needs to be an article written here? Its because after all these tragedies not one time have I, or anyone else around me been asked how we can better the schools, or if we have any idea. The schools focus on 50+ year old professional looking, outside hire “social workers,” instead of listening to the students (once again, see #4, Newton is conservative).

    Thanks for listening,
    JC

    • Tyler Gardner

      Easy there, Holden. You, too, will appreciate it all one day.

      • James Clenson

        One great out of school lesson I learned was if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it. Tyler Gardner is prime example of the typical Newton parent. Nice book reference Im sure everyone is laughing.

    • NutshellsGuy

      Well, James, although I hear you and agree with most of it, many people do find logs and stroma to be valuable pieces of knowledge in their work life. :-) I

      • james clenson

        The way I see it, and the way I have been asking for 13 years, show me the facts that say that logs and stroma etc are actually used by many in the workforce etc. and prove that they are useful. So far its all been a blank.

        • NutshellsGuy

          I used logs at work last week. When you graph the amount of water removed by a piece of equipment against the speed at which it spins, you get a curve that spans a big range and it is hard to read the graph accurately. If you plot one of the variables against the log of the other, it is a straight line and easy to read. It also gives engineers a strong clue as to the meaning of the relationship between two quantities.

          I don’t work with bio or medical stuff, so I don’t use stroma at work (except that I wear it in my body :-) ). But physical therapists and certain doctors need to know a lot about it. So yeah, it’s important.

        • Call Me Carlos the Dwarf

          Sit it on Mosbrooker’s AB Calc class sometime. He always went out of his way to explain the practical applications of the operations we were doing.

    • ElliFrank

      Hi James. Great post. I agree with many of your points, especially the last one (#5). It is tragic that the NPS Administration’s continued response to these student suicides is to trot out their mental health consultants to talk at parents and students in a PR-oriented, damage control effort.

      If these social workers and mental health consultants were worth their salt — and I say this as a social worker myself (but not one who works for the NPS) — they would be advising the NPS Administration to start listening to all the key stakeholders in our community – especially students!

      Instead, I think this situation is being shaped by forces that were alluded to by Upton Sinclair, when he stated, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”

      Keep on speaking up, James!

      • james clenson

        thank you I appreciate it. Well said too!

  • Tyler Gardner

    It’s so easy to point fingers and search for answers when tragedy strikes, particularly multiple times in a given community. But this article is just not fair. I know several members of the Newton community: teachers, parents, students, etc., and I know them to be some of the most caring and supportive people with whom I have ever had the privilege to interact. As someone who went to a “high-achiever school”, and now teaches and lives at one, I have faith that there exists a contingency of people who are constantly devoted to exploring what is, and is not, in the students’ best interest. Nobody wants to see students destroy themselves, mentally or physically, and nobody wants to foster an environment that would lead to an eventual breakdown of communication between teachers, students, and parents. I would like to encourage the above author to revisit this piece and attempt to create something out of the tragedies rather than simply magnify the destruction caused by such events and exacerbate the problem by alienating those very teachers who are doing their best to support and encourage these children by profession.

  • http://waldron-math.com Margery Waldron

    Here we go again. Parents blame teachers and administrators for absolutely everything bad that happens to their children. This dangerous attitude disempowers teens and leads to disastrous consequences. Teens need to know that THEY have the power to make changes in their lives to reduce their stress load… they can take fewer APs, do less extra curricular activities, apply to colleges more suited to their goals and abilities. When teens feel they have no control over their lives they feel powerless and hopeless about their future. This feeling can lead to devastating choices.

    When we empower our children they also learn responsibility. They learn that they can take charge and make choices that improve their quality of life. Children need to be taught that sometimes bad things happen and it is no one’s fault. Pointing fingers and blaming others delays grieving and healing.

    Parents: “When a man points a finger at someone else, he should remember that four of his fingers are pointing at himself.” ~Louis Nizer

    • NutshellsGuy

      Margery, you ought to read the article better. There’s no need to be defensive. It’s identifying a problem and calling for a solution. Saying the following (quote from the article) is hardly blaming the schools for everything bad that happens, it’s just asking the school system to stop avoiding taking responsibility for its part:

      “Of course, some students put pressure on themselves, and some feel pressure from their parents and peers. But the school system must hold itself accountable for the pressure it puts on its students.”

      • http://waldron-math.com Margery Waldron

        Nuts, I have read all your comments and note that you singularly point fingers at school administrators and teachers. You do not seem to be well informed about the vocation or job of an educator. In order to widen your world view I suggest that you consider volunteering to teach at a high school for a week. In my experience educators on the whole are very compassionate and intelligent adults who consider working with children a vocation. They certainly do not embark on this career for money, recognition or gratitude.

        • NutshellsGuy

          Again, this is not about blame, it’s about people taking responsibility for their part in a situation. It’s well-known that many parents are either over-involved or under-involved or otherwise contributing to kids’ problems. And it’s also well-known that teachers are generally amazing and dedicated individuals. But there are unaddressed systemic issues in the NPS, and that organization has been singularly unwilling to engage with parents about those issues.

          I have plenty of war stories about this, and we know plenty of other parents who have their own war stories. And I’m not talking about situations in which the parents are pressurizing their kids, trying to interfere with grading, or otherwise make it easy for their children to get into Harvard.

          There is a condescending, pathologizing attitude toward parents in most of NPS, and it contributes to a failure to have honest, respectful dialog about certain issues of critical importance. That doesn’t mean that parents don’t contribute their own shtick to the situation. But we know that already. What fails to get addressed is the piece that the school system owns. If they would open up *real* dialog with parents then it all might get sorted out. Until then, they hide behind fawning praise of groupie parents and denial that there is anything about children’s education that they might need to learn.

  • ASouthGrad

    I graduated Newton South not too long ago, but have now had a good taste of the real world. I had teachers that pushed hard, but were fair. The tough curriculum and heavy course load just made college seem easy and manageable. A high pressure environment is important to bringing the best out of students. If they fail to perform and can’t learn to handle the feelings that come with it, that pure and simple is a parenting problem. Life isn’t easy, and the ‘everyone wins’ mentality only tricks kids for so long. Once they realize we don’t live in fairyland, the crash can be long and hard. Learning how to fail is as important as learning how to succeed. Stop babying your children. All it does is give them a late start on preparing themselves for what real life can be like.

    Why do I sound so intolerant? South is not that bad. Perhaps one teacher in five would assign what I would describe as busy work instead of helpful work. Take care of that one class, and you have ample free time to do whatever you feel like doing. There are very few “stay up all night sessions” ever required, if any at all. Whoever has the impression that South puts tremendous pressure on its students is simply wrong. I was quite lazy, and as a former South student, would only say something like that about the pressure because I didn’t want to get woken from my laziness. (I did play on two sports teams throughout my four years at South so I am not entirely lazy, but I hated homework, despised it. I also took a couple honors and AP courses, so don’t tell me I must have been on easy street.)

    America is falling behind in the world and Newton is one of the most educated communities in the country. Please don’t ease up. Please don’t think our “achievement based culture” is making us worse off. If anything, we need more places like this in the US. Stop babying your children. Start preparing them for real life.

    • Call Me Carlos the Dwarf

      Yeah, there’s no way I would be doing anywhere near as well as I’m doing at school if it weren’t for my teachers at South.

    • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

      Yeah, it seems many people feel school is just a place for kids to spend time. Really, its the place where they are developed. It’s not a daycare center meant to entertain students (although class CAN be entertaining with the right teacher), it is a place to prepare students for the rest of their lives.

    • NutshellsGuy

      You wrote: “A high pressure environment is important to bringing the best out of students. If they fail to perform and can’t learn to handle the feelings that come with it, that pure and simple is a parenting problem.”

      You need to learn about stages of development in life. People are still in their formative years in high school. The brain and emotional and intellectual systems are still in development. There is plenty of time to lose sleep over work load after college (and for some majors, to a certain degree in college itself).

      A challenge is one thing, and a good thing at that. But we’re not talking about having *some* challenge, we’re talking about – for many students – a pressure cooker level of challenge. And it contributes to isolation that is simply unhealthy.

      Furthermore, at all stages of life different people have different levels of ability to cope with high-pressure environments. Failure to perform under those circumstances is not automatically a failure in life, and it certainly isn’t automatically a failure in parenting (though sometimes it can be).

      Public schools need to be able to teach kids with all levels of ability. This isn’t Newton Private Top Achievers Schools we’re talking about, it’s Newton Public Schools. When people attend a school meant for top achievers and can’t cut it, by all means they don’t belong there. But again, none of the NPS schools can follow that policy. So they need to provide challenge in accordance with the ability of the student, and work TOGETHER with PARENTS to make it all work.

      • Call Me Carlos the Dwarf

        But it’s not a pressure cooker level of challenge. Unless their parents made them sign up for classes whose workload they simply aren’t capable of handling, no one should be completely overwhelmed by their workload at NSHS.

  • hippo123

    Let me preface this by saying that I’m a current student at Newton South and have (I think) a wealth of first-hand knowledge of the subject that the author clearly lacks.

    The author writes this article from a very singular viewpoint. He discounts the fact that much of the stress and anxiety that students experience is in fact self-imposed and self-driven. The school does not, by any means, force students to take an arduous course load and participate in a certain number of extra-curricular activities. He clearly misunderstands and is over-analyzing the environment in which his son learns at Newton South.

    In addition, Dr. Bacigalupe writes this: “One of the experts commented condescendingly in Tuesday’s meeting that suicides are not infectious.” That expert was Dr. Susan Swick, the chief of Adolescent and Child Psychiatry at Newton-Wellesley Hospital and an incredibly knowledgeable and accomplished person. To clarify, Dr. Swick stated that suicides themselves are not contagious, but rather the outpouring of grief and positive memories of a suicide victim may drive a vulnerable to commit such an act. Dr. Bacigalupe shows a clear clinical misunderstanding of what Dr. Swick said. I wonder if he was even present at the meeting about which he wrote this piece.

    I’m also intrigued by this: “The culture of staying up late to study is one of the first things upper-class students tell the younger ones to prepare for. Their senior peers tell them that if they don’t stay up late, they will not perform well.”

    Having been both an underclassman and an upperclassman, I can say with complete confidence that this is not something that is said more than once or twice, and jokingly at that. Most students learn to manage their time extremely well. They have time to enjoy dinner with their families, catch up on their favorite television program, and even read a book for pleasure. A typical night of a Newton South student is not the no-break, no time for eating or drinking study marathon that this parent understands it (or better yet, misunderstands it) to be. There’s no threshold hour to which students must be awake to perform well on an exam. How absurd.

    I would recommend to Dr. Bacigalupe that he gather a few more opinions on the life of a Newton South student before having the temerity to write a piece like this. It’s full of wrong assertions, conclusions, and facts that a Newton South father thinks he has in the bag from 2.5 years as a parent at NSHS.

    • NewtonAlum

      I would learn more about the author before going on to attack this far. He also had a daughter that finished 4 years at NNHS and has been in the community for years. He has been the parent of BOTH an NNHS alumnus and a current NSHS student.

      Personally, as an alumnus of the NNHS class of ’09, I would also go on to say that I strongly disagree with a great degree of your analysis. He doesn’t blame the immediately identifiable policy structure of the schools; he goes on to disagree with the culture that develops from that. To say what you have said as a “current student” is quite disheartening because that almost leaves a helpless attitude that have kindled similar situations to Newton’s at UPenn and MIT. I certainly can agree with his analysis, especially in comparing school cultures from high school to college, that school culture means quite a bit in fostering environments conducive to open conversations about mental health.

      I will openly admit as a college senior, that I sense college campuses with a varying degree of “overall happiness”. After visiting friends on different campuses for multiple days, it is without a doubt that I come to recognize that they all emphasize different aspects of the college experience. Depending on what those environments emphasize, students will begin to envelop themselves in that experience, whether they like to admit it or not. That is where the obligation of policy structures and key stakeholders come in. They can have an influence on school culture in a college or high school setting by preparing the framework that fosters students’ holistic well-being. As administrators in K-12 or in higher education, this shouldn’t be an option, it is an obligation.

  • JimiBuffett

    As a recent Newton South graduate, I agree with the writer. Newton South and the Newton Public Schools put an incredible amount of stress on its students. There is a strong culture of competition and trying to out-do one another. The writer suggests that families and parents have increased input with the administration surrounding the cutlure of the school and the stress that may be put on the children. However, I would also suggest that the administration also look to its own students for input on how they feel about the Newton Public Schools. I believe there should be a collaboration between students, parents, teachers, and the administration to discuss ways to adapt the current culture at the Newton Public Schools.

    • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

      “I would also suggest that the administration also look to its own students for input on how they feel about the Newton Public Schools”. Well this is always a good idea, and its important to know what students are thinking. However, you could go to any high school in the country and get the same responses: too much homework, too much stress, not enough time to hang out with my friends. I don’t think there’s a single school in America where there aren’t students who think they get too many assignments or that their work is too hard.

  • Recent Newton Grad-Ivy League

    I graduated a public Newton HS in the recent past and still got into a very good school. However, the college process was incredibly grueling. The pressure of the entire system, and the pressure I put on myself, caused a mental breakdown that ruined a beautiful relationship for me, and caused severe depression and my “break” for OCD. Now I am currently being held together at college by anti-depressants, anti-psychotics, benzodiazepines and therapy. I am several years removed from the entire process and healing, but the stress that is created by the social atmosphere of the entire town is indeed toxic. I don’t know if or when I’ll ever be comfortable telling my story. It is a trauma. I send my deepest sympathies to everyone affected by these tragic, unnecessary deaths. I have been close to where those kids have, and there feels like there is no escape. It is terrifyingly real and tangible, and a problem Newton must tackle holistically. The schools, the homework, the expectations…All of it. We become products of our environment if its influence is so strong as it is in Newton. We all have our inner demons, but they can be exacerbated to the extreme in these atmospheres.

    I will say that there is no doubt that Newton gave me a wonderful education and that high school, until everything mounted, was an incredible experience. Unfortunately, we tend to weigh the end of events heavier than the duration, so that is my bias.

  • Lauren Berman

    I’m alarmed and disgusted that this so-called expert targets schools as being culpable for these suicides. Sadly, we live in a society which places unrealistic expectations of perfection on young people. As parents, neighbors, and friends, it falls on us to do our best to level set our children and encourage them to be happy
    with who they are, instead of pushing them to become who we think they should
    be. Don’t use the schools as scapegoats.

    • NutshellsGuy

      Do you believe that it’s healthy for children to get 5 or fewer hours of sleep per night? Just as it has been proven that carrying 20+ lb. backpacks of books and binders to and from school has a harmful effect on the kids’ skeletal systems, so has it also been proven that sleep deprivation and overly stressing kids are developmentally inappropriate, not to mention counterproductive to the goal and just plain harmful.

      Parents have a role to play, but they are not the ones assigning homework and setting classroom expectations. Teachers could set a good example for the parents as a start.

      • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

        Staying up late to study is called cramming and it has been going on for decades. It is not something a student must do if they study correctly.

        • NutshellsGuy

          Words escape me. You are clearly disconnected from the reality these kids face. There are all sorts of ideal concepts we can espouse about what should happen, but the fact is that the culture and expectations are what they are, and these kids face it from all directions. The lucky ones get support from their parents, but that only can help so much. Why does it need to be this way? There are many school environments in which the pressure is truly manageable and the kids perform ultra-well. Read the book Spark, for example.

          • Guest

            I think the point being made is that the pressure IS manageable at South. Feeling pressured or stressed is intrinsically an individual response. You can have two
            people in the same class—one feels stressed and the other doesn’t. There are a multitude of reasons why this is
            the case, including personality, level of preparedness, individual schedules, personal health, family life, social networks, and the list goes on and on. To state that stress should be reduced at South misses the mark. Instead, efforts should be made to investigate the causes of overwhelming stress felt by SOME of the young people in our community, and then actions taken to best protect
            these kids who are most at risk.

            I also believe that schools mirror their communities. Why are there AP courses, honors classes, a multitude of clubs, and a variety of athletic teams at the Newton High Schools? Because this is what our community (rightly) demands. Can you imagine the uproar if our schools did not have this breadth of offerings? These resources provide our students with great opportunities, but participation is not mandated (at least not by our schools).

          • Lauren Berman

            I think the point being made is that the pressure IS manageable at South. Feeling pressured or stressed is intrinsically an individual response. You can have two people in the same class—one feels stressed and the other doesn’t. There are a multitude of reasons why this is
            the case, including personality, level of preparedness, individual schedules, personal health, family life, social networks, and the list goes on and on. To state that stress should be reduced at South misses the mark. Instead, efforts should be made to investigate the causes of overwhelming stress felt by some of the young people in our community, and then plans put in place to best protect these kids who are most at risk.

            I also believe that schools mirror their communities. Why are there AP courses, Honors classes, a multitude of clubs, and a variety of athletic teams at the Newton High Schools? Because this is what our community (rightly) demands. Can you imagine the uproar if our schools did not have this breadth of offerings? These resources provide our students with great opportunities, but participation is not mandated by our schools.

          • NutshellsGuy

            “Feeling pressured or stressed is intrinsically an individual response. You can have two people in the same class—one feels stressed and the other doesn’t. There are a multitude of reasons why this is the case”

            The same can be said about Navy SEAL training, but I wouldn’t want my kid to be subjected to that while in high school. :-)

            The main point here for me is that this conversation is way overdue, and I hope that it can continue with parents, students, teachers, and administration all involved and being open to each other.

          • Call Me Carlos the Dwarf

            I was in the Class of 2012 and I never asked for help from my parents, except for having my mother proofread some of my papers before I turned them in.

            The only problems I had with my workload were entirely self created, and I took 7 honors courses and 4 APs in grades 10-12, all while playing sports year round.

            I won’t pretend to be some sort of everyman, but I took just as much work as I could handle, and no more. I could have taken Honors Chem or Honors Bio, had I wanted to. I didn’t, though, because I knew it would be too much work. I could have taken AP Psych senior year, and a bunch of my friends were in that period. I didn’t, though, because it was Turley and I knew it would be too much work.

            It’s not the faculty’s fault if a student lacks the self-awareness to set themselves a reasonable schedule, and their parents lack the awareness of their child’s capabilities to veto that schedule.

          • NutshellsGuy

            You are missing the point. Getting the best education is not about toughing things out and being able to handle a big homework load. It’s about how the brain learns best. Research shows that the optimum amount of homework at high school age is about 2 hours, maybe 2.5 in 12th grade.

            Anything more does not improve learning, and in fact degrades it. Obviously, once in a while is OK, but not more than that.

          • Call Me Carlos the Dwarf

            Well yeah, hence my not taking a course load that would have resulted in 3 or more hours of homework a night for me.

            Whenever my homework took me more than three hours, it was because I had spent significant time screwing around rather than actually doing it.

      • Lauren Berman

        I think there may be different reasons that three Newton
        teenagers recently, and tragically, took their own lives. What did they have in common? They were depressed. Were they stressed? Obviously. Were they stressed about schoolwork? I don’t know.
        Do you? Drawing a line between school stress and suicide is way too simplistic, and too readily dismisses the insidiousness of depression.

        On a completely different topic, I’m not sure where this Newton
        South High School is where kids study until late in the night and only get 5 hours of sleep. If my kids went to the Newton South academic sweat shop that you describe, then, yes, I too would be complaining. But, apparently my kids go to a different Newton
        South. If they feel they have too much work and can’t get everything done, or have too many tests scheduled on one
        day, they speak with their teachers, housemasters, or guidance counselors, who are typically responsive to their needs. Sometimes, if they’ve prioritized other activities over school, they will hand in an assignment late or skip ones that they don’t think are important. My kids don’t take all honors classes, and they pick and choose their athletic and after school activities so they still have enough time to get their homework done, play video games, and get to bed at a reasonable time.

        • mwsalbgf

          I think this article assumes that the high school has a homogenous student body; it does not.

          I took all Honors/ AP during the majority of my tenure at South, but I certainly had time to relax and do normal teenager things. Five hours to me was definitely on the high side of hours of sleep per night I would get, but you get used to it. So, yes, it got stressful at times. I cannot say that all South students had the same experience. I think when you get to the narrow group of students who take all Honors/ AP, there is a certain culture of chugging along. I would ***never*** dream of missing or turning in an assignment late. I cannot fathom the idea of going to a Housemaster or teacher asking for an extension or reschedule.

          • Call Me Carlos the Dwarf

            You’re casting Honors/AP kids as a homogeneous group.

            My only non-Honors classes sophomore and junior years were Chem and Bio. I didn’t take Global, though, and took Lit and Euro senior year, so I think I had a similar workload to most “All Honors/AP” kids. I played two school sports freshman, junior and senior year and one sophomore year, and was involved with club sports throughout high school.

            With all that, I handed in late assignments all the time, and never went to bed after 1 on a school night, unless I had a paper due.

            I agree about never asking for an extension, though. I was a smart kid, and smart kids didn’t ask for help.

          • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

            Yes, but being an Honors/AP student is a choice.

      • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

        I still don’t see where you are getting this 5 hours of sleep number.

        • Call Me Carlos the Dwarf

          Yeah, when I got fewer than 6 hours of sleep, it was because I spent several hours messing around instead of just doing my work.

          • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

            Haha exactly. I was trying to do the math. Let’s say you have 5 hours of homework, which was an average to heavy night for me when I was in high school. This means you can get your homework done by 8pm if you get to it when you come home from school. Studying for tests is another matter, but thats only a few times a semester.

        • mb495

          1 hour of homework per class with 5 classes (math, science, english,
          history, foreign language) is 5 hours of homework per night. Those time
          guidelines hold regardless of the level of the course — curric 1,
          curric 2, honors or AP. If students do something after school
          (athletics, music/drama, clubs, or job), and don’t get home until 5:30
          or 6 pm, add 1-1.5 hours total for dinner, showering, and perhaps
          talking to parents for a few minutes, and you get a 12:00 am or 12:30 am
          bedtime. And that’s with no down time to relax! If the homework is
          challenging, or longer than 1 hour (very common!), then kids who do all
          the homework are easily up to 1 or 2 am. School starts at 7:30 am, so
          that’s way too little sleep!

  • curiosity and compassion

    As a psychologist and parent of a NNHS student, I hope we can move beyond overly simplistic kneejerk discussions like this to more sophisticated and respectful considerations of these terrible losses. We all know there is no singular cause to adolescent suicide; reductionistic attempts at “explanation” or blame for these three deaths are divisive and destructive, only spinning further tragedy from tragedy. Let us come together, not come apart. Let us help one another to heal and grow amidst loss. Let us be better people together.

    • NutshellsGuy

      As with cigarette smoke, air pollution, and toxic chemicals in water and food, it can be hard to connect specific deaths with general causes. But let’s look at the larger issue: do you believe that it’s OK for students to get 5 or fewer hours of sleep per night? That it is best for parents to be seen and not heard?

      • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

        Where does it say students are getting less than 5 hours of sleep per night in this article?

        • mwsalbgf

          I didn’t see that anywhere in the article either. If things have not changed since I was a South grad, five hours is a good night.

    • ElliFrank

      Dr. Bacigalupe is raising questions about issues which affect students on a daily (and nightly!) basis and easily lead to damaging levels of toxic stress. He is also raising the importance of our school district changing its response to multiple student deaths: instead of circling its wagons, he’s making the reasonable and wise point that a more thoughtful, inclusive, and collaborative problem solving approach could lead to more meaningful solutions and outcomes.

      In spite of your tag, your response is to use name calling and insults to put down his opinion. I don’t see any curiosity or compassion in your comments. Perhaps this is a reflection of one cultural problem within the NPS which leads to higher levels of toxic stress.

      Three young adults have taken their lives in Newton this year. (Actually four have, but the other one was a recent high school school graduate so that suicide is being ignored). At best, the only suggestion you’ve made is that we sing “Kumbaya” together and just accept the defensive, exclusionary response of our school administration. How many deaths will it take before families — and all stakeholders in our school community — are welcomed to the table to participate in a more meaningful, inclusive, and analytical problem solving approach?

  • NutshellsGuy

    This pressure is not limited to high school in Newton. It is there in the middle schools as well, though perhaps a notch or two below the excruciating level they obtain in high school.

    I couldn’t agree more with the level of condescension that the Newton Public Schools displays, and their distancing from parents. As well as the sad failure to utilize the skills and experiences of parents.

  • ElliFrank

    I agree with Dr. Bacigalupe’s excellent blog entry that cultural, systemic changes need to come to the Newton Public Schools community. That will only happen if parents insist on the NPS Administration welcoming our families (parents and students) to the table in a more collaborative, inclusive approach to facilitate meaningful change. Teachers and other school staff need to be involved, too.

    It does not help that the NPS Superintendent continues to keep parents and students at arm’s length as he promises changes which never materialize and wouldn’t even address the core problems our community is facing. It also does not help that the NPS’ main response to repeated student suicides is to march out their consulting mental health “expert,” whose main role seems to involve telling parents that the NPS are doing everything they can. Really not helpful.

    As long as the NPS Administration’s priority focus continues to be on liability instead of the needs of students, families, teachers, and other school staff, nothing is going to change. The Administration needs to start listening to parents and students and stop pathologizing our families. The causes of what’s driving these problems is more complex and systemic than can be attributed to student depression alone. Dr. Bacigalupe does an excellent job discussing this here, and my family is grateful to him for articulating these issues with such clarity and insight. Will the NPS start listening?

    • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

      Schools should listen to parents, but that doesn’t mean that the school should do everything the parents want. Often, parents just want their get to look better – as evidenced by the thousands of parents across the country who fight with teachers every day to get their students well-deserved bad grade raised – and do not care about the actual education aspect. Additionally, what one parent feels might work for THEIR child, might not work for another child.

      • NutshellsGuy

        The answer to the difficulties is not to shut the parents out. Not only is that throwing out the baby with the bath water, it sets the wrong example of how things work best in the real world. In the real world – especially business, but all fields, actually – including all the stakeholders is the way to success.

        This is the sort of training that the NPS can give to prepare kids for the real world, not developmentally inappropriate levels of work and stress. If I subjected my employees to similar levels on a regular basis, I would get lousy work and the employees would quit. And I hire MIT, Tufts, and Dartmouth grads, among others.

      • ElliFrank

        I am not suggesting that the NPS Administration “do everything the parents want.” Nor am I suggesting parents argue with teachers about grades. I am talking about problem solving in response to a rash of student deaths by suicide.

        Like the author of the blog entry above, I believe that in order to address this serious problem within our community — one that is resulting in multiple student suicides among other problems that make students more vulnerable to a range of mental health problems — it is necessary for all stakeholders to be welcomed to the table to participate in a thoughtful and collaborative problem solving effort.

        The cost of not doing so is evident with each additional student death.

  • GentleReader

    Dr. Bacigalupe provides an accurate picture of stress at Newton South HS,
    …BUT it’s a big mistake to jump to assuming a direct connection (particularly a causal one) between this stress and these suicides. Just listen to all the NSHS students who are all under similar stress but who now are dumbfounded at the thought that these students would choose to end their lives. If there were such a causal connection between this pervasive stress and suicide, then they would not be dumbfounded at this result. The write may have a valid argument about stress being too great at Newton South, but he should not assume that these suicides support that argument. They very well might have nothing to do with it.

    Dr. Bacigalupe also says, “Families and parents should be invited to provide their views on the impact that the schools have on their children,” and I think this is indeed what happens at Newton South. I’m a Newton South parent, and I can recall several explicit invitations from the principal and guidance counselors, asking parents for input. I have at times followed up on those invitations to discuss my children’s stress, and I have found the NSHS staff remarkably responsive. But then again, I am not presenting myself as an expert. Just a concerned parent with observations and questions.

    • NSHS2010

      I completely agree. I graduated in 2010, and although the stress was undoubtedly there and it was pretty immense, I never once harbored thoughts of suicide, just thoughts of wanting more sleep…

      I think being in that sort of environment when one is already in a fragile mental state could indeed push him or her over the edge, but so could a number of other stressors as well.

      It is a mistake to solely blame a school system that I have found to be a pretty remarkable example of public education done well. Newton has produced some incredible individuals — there are so many, they have a *separate* Wikipedia page, independent of the Newton, Massachusetts page — and it’s no coincidence that we also have a great educational system in place. It’s tragic and nonsensical to lose three young people in fourth months, but it’s also nonsensical to blame a school system that’s doing a spectacular job for so many other young people.

      We already do so much to reduce the competitiveness at Newton South: No valedictorian, no prom king and queen, no more honor roll cards being handed out in homerooms in front of other students, no National Honor Society chapter, no class rank, and, with the exception of 3 AP classes offered junior year, no APs offered before senior year. What else can we do to reduce stress and competition before it actually starts chiseling away at the quality of education?

    • NutshellsGuy

      When I was in high school, the kids who thrived on the pressure and work went ahead and did extra levels of work and extra credit of their own accord. I am not advocating that we allow kids to slack off, but the fact that many can handle a Michael Jordan expectation of work output doesn’t make it a good idea to make it the norm.

      I can’t comment on your experience with teachers, only my own. I have found a lot of apparent responsiveness, but it is usually either lip service or they revert back to business as usual quickly.

      • Call Me Carlos the Dwarf

        Are your kids taking classes that they can handle, though? At a certain point, a 16 year old has to decide for themselves what too much is.

  • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

    This is a tragic story, however I am not sure if it is fair to blame pressure. Plenty of students are able to withstand the pressure and thrive under it. This should be dealt with on a case by case basis.

    • clunkburly

      It strikes me as impractical that we can tailor the school experience to each individual student. We need a system that works for all, not just those that thrive under pressure. Besides, self-discipline is a better motivator than external pressure in the long run.

      • Call Me Carlos the Dwarf

        The only pressure is internal, though. I’m a recent grad, but I never felt external pressure or that there was a culture of competition, and I never had a problem with getting B (the one C junior year pissed me off, though).

        Of course, I also was pretty…let’s call it “self-assured,” and could count on one hand the people I felt were as smart as me (there was also the one kid who I knew was smarter than me), so I never really felt that it was a competition, because I cared more about being smart and being recognized as such than getting good grades.

      • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

        I didn’t mean to tailor every students experience personally. I meant to watch for signs of over-stressing and depression and tailor the individuals course work to that. I’m not sure how you can promote self-discipline without pressure for achievement. If there are no consequences for not doing an assignment or not studying for a test, how can self-discipline be encouraged? Stress is a part of life and must be a part of school in order to prepare kids for the real world. I struggled through middle school and high school, and often complained that there as too much homework, that there was too much stress, and everything was unfair. However, that is how I felt then. Today, I realize the reason for all that work, and am grateful that I had to do it. Ten years later, I still find myself drawing on that knowledge.

  • newtonsouthgrad

    As a NSHS graduate, I completely understand the pressures that all students go through. The pressure to succeed and to achieve in classes as well as extracurricular activities and sports is very prevalent within the school. Everyone is seems to be constantly competing, which can be both good and bad. It encourages students to work hard on their assignments, but also provides stress. There were plenty of times where I turned in an assignment I did not feel confident about and was afraid that I would fall behind everyone else. Many students do stay up long hours and barely have anytime for their other commitments. There needs to be some kind of balance in order for students to be able to focus on academics but also on spending time with family and friends and other activities. I do not know how much things have changed since I have graduated, but it seems that students are feeling more and more vulnerable now than they were before.

    • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

      “The pressure to succeed and to achieve in classes”. Isn’t this prevalent in every school? If a teacher is not trying to make their students succeed and achieve in classes, aren’t they kind of failing at their job? Are we supposed to encourage mediocrity?

      • NutshellsGuy

        There’s a saying in business, “Work smarter, not harder.” Hard work is important, of course, but as an MIT grad I can assure you that we would have been much better served by being forced to learn how to produce good work without crazy hours than to put those hours in and burn ourselves out.

        Startups notwithstanding, the real world really is about pacing yourself and keeping yourself sane and healthy, while still producing top-notch work. There’s plenty of time until those who choose to take the startup route kill themselves for their dreams. I have nothing against that for those who choose it, but let’s get the kids to that place in decent shape.

      • newtonsouthgrad

        I am not saying that we should encourage mediocrity, and if you read my comment in full you will see that I believe that competition is something that can be good but also bad. I am currently a college student, and my education at Newton South definitely prepared me for the college workload. It is not a matter of whether teachers are trying to make their students succeed, it is a matter of whether they are doing the right thing in order to help them succeed. A lot of students are thrown into the deep end, and end up drowning in work as more and more is piled on. It becomes difficult at times for them to ask for help, when others seem to be doing just fine. I am not saying that the teachers at Newton South did not help me, I am saying that the way that they support students may need to be looked at.

  • http://www.judydunn.net/ Judy D

    The problem extends beyond Newton. The challenge is for a school system to step off the treadmill and say “Enough”. That is a challenge too great for too many administrators, and too scary for too many parents who want “the best” for their kids. It is easy to make the events “exceptions”, and explain away the problem. It is much harder to grapple with ingrained cultural beliefs. I live in Acton which has an equally crazy competitive, achievement oriented culture in the schools. My oldest survived the high school, but did not thrive in college. She is doing fine now. She left college, and is working, and learning more about who she is — something one would hope she had more opportunity to do in high school or college. But when the kids get ingrained into this culture of achievement they learn to disconnect from themselves.
    The problem does not lie exclusively with the schools, or the parents, or the kids biology. It is a combination of factors, that can create a toxic mix that results in tragedy. I feel deep sympathy for the parents of Newton, and appreciate the honesty and courage in this story.

    • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

      You mention “achievement oriented culture”. Should we not be encouraging achievement? Should we be encouraging mediocrity and not trying as hard as you can instead? Life is stressful and not perfect. We need to prepare students for this. If they have never experienced stress, by the time they enter the real world, they are going to be in a lot of trouble.

      • http://www.judydunn.net/ Judy D

        This is the problem with comments online…it is difficult to fully flesh out what you are trying to express. No. I am not encouraging mediocrity. But I am saying we should not push our kids to excel at everything academic. Not all kids thrive in a competitive academic environment, and even those who do, sometimes need more than good grades. Schools and parents focus most of their attention on academic success. My kids were bright, and good test takers. One went to the academic grinder of a public school where the class size was large, and the culture was highly focused on grades. The other has attended a school that has rigorous academics, but also develops other aspects of the child that I did not see with my older daughter’s experience. The second school recognizes that kids may be high performing, but they are not robots. Especially in adolescence, a time already fraught with many stressors, changes, and new experiences. I don’t think we should shield our kids from stress, but are we teaching them how to manage it effectively, and how to develop emotional resiliency? This is not something that we learn innately, or are likely to have developed very strongly as adolescents. Are we telling them to manage their stress, and then judging them as inadequate when they push beyond their capacity to keep up in a hyper competitve environment? Some schools are not just competitive, they are pressure cookers. Until you have witnessed up close and personal the toll it can take it is difficult to see what the problem is.
        I took all honors classes as a kid in high school. The workload I had then is minuscule compared to what is asked of many kids in honors and AP classes today. Schools want their kids to measure highest on the only measure we take; academic performance. But when there is little to no time left in the day for a kid to be a kid—to chillax—then it is not serving them or their communities. We want our kids to be bright, but we want them to be emotional strong and resilient too. Where and when do they develop those skills in a day overstuffed with demands.

    • Shoshi

      I think that in general Newton has high standards for life paths. Yes, we receive great education, but if there were slightly less homework and less pressure(wherever it comes from) would kids still get into colleges and still be successful? Absolutely. Why not encourage kids and show them the VARIETY of ways to a successful, fulfilling life(which does not usually include straight A’s and 10 extracurriculars) by bringing in people of all different professions and sharing their experiences? The worst thing about high school, anywhere, is feeling like it’s the end-all be-all of life, which it is not!! So let the kids see that mistakes, fear, imperfections and the unknown can all lead up to a happy, accomplished, professional life scenario. Teachers have a hard job, but at the end of the day are still consumed by the academic world they live in, and can not really be responsible for giving students all the life input they need throughout a school experience.

      My advice is let the outside, real world, into high schools and let kids know there is no right or wrong way to navigate it. And unless you end up being a chemist, the fact that you got a C in 10th grade chemistry will not, in fact, ever come up at a dinner party.(As is my experience so far. But, I have other things to talk about being a business owner at 24!)

  • NSHS2010

    As a Newton South alumna, it pains me to see my city enduring such a distressing string of events. It’s commendable that residents, parents, and educators are stepping back and analyzing the situation to try and figure out where the problem might be stemming from, but in reading articles like this I’m worried that people are looking in the wrong place.

    Yes, Newton South (and presumably North, although I can only accurately speak for one of the high schools) is inarguably a high-pressure environment that can at times push students to their limits, but the blame does not entirely fall on academics. As a current senior in college, I can say with absolute certainty that Newton’s school system did an amazing job preparing me for higher education, better than many of my college peers’ schools did. It also abstractly prepared me for the hard work and competition that is rampant not only in college, but also in the real world, as we millennials fight for a job, any job; baseline livable salaries; and many other successes that were not once quite as hard to come by as they are in 2014. In the wake of this triplet of tragedies, as we grapple to make sense of the nonsensical, let’s not totally point the finger of blame at the style of educational rigor in our city because it does have a lot of merits in properly preparing students to hold their own as intelligent, strong individuals.

    I think the bigger issue is that this high-stakes educational approach comes packaged within an already generally pressurized culture that in some ways is endemic in Newton, but in other ways is the unfortunate milieu of our time. Wealth disparity is an immediate stressor that comes to mind. The national median household income in February 2013 was $51,404 and in Newton it was $112,230 — that’s more than twice as high. Despite that median, not everyone living in this city is accustomed to that sort of luxury, but it begets a certain expected lifestyle, a lifestyle that, as a teenager especially, it can be extremely stressful not to fit into. To put this into a high school context: All your friends are being picked up by their parents in a brand new Lexus SUV, while you get picked up in an 18-year-old used Camry. This might seem like a small situation, but it’s a microcosm of a bigger way of living, thinking, and acting, that can be unintentionally exclusionary.
    Another huge external pressure, that is not Newton-specific, are social media sites. Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram especially propagate the notion that it’s important to let everyone know at all times that what you’re doing is awesome, and, more importantly, is more awesome than what everyone else is doing. In reality, what you’re doing might not actually be that great, but it spreads this constant need for students to not only be the best in school, extracurriculars, and test scores, but in their social lives as well. The one area of existence that should be a way to kick back and relax from all the other pressures inflicted on Newton’s high schoolers becomes yet another competition to be the best. When I was at South, laptops were not allowed in class and neither were smartphones. I would see the occasional student covertly texting in class, but it was very rare. I hear from some of my fellow 2010 graduates that their younger siblings who are currently at South are not having this same experience. Technology is everywhere, and I believe it’s making it hard for students to actually focus on their education because they’re simultaneously concerned with going to the coolest place for lunch during their free block and Snapchatting pictures of it back to their peers who are stuck in class.

    So yes, I agree wholeheartedly that the Newton high schools are intense, but without these other external pressures also pushing on students, perhaps the educational stress would actually feel more manageable. The important point here is that if we’re going to assess the atmosphere present in the high schools to see what is pushing teens over the edge, which is something we should be doing, we have to look at more than just the educational structure, turning to some obvious outside factors as well.

    • mwsalbgf

      “Newton’s school system did an amazing job preparing me for higher education, better than many of my college peers’ schools did.”
      100% accurate

      -Another class of 2010 alum

      • Call Me Carlos the Dwarf

        Incredibly accurate. Thanks to Marder, Jamps and Golding I was simply on another level of polish in terms of writing skills, and it made getting good grades in college (and transferring, thank God), incredibly easy.

        Sophomore Honors English at South is about a college-level class.

        • NSHS2010

          Yes to Golding! (Didn’t have the others.) Literally everything I know about writing an unbreakable argumentative essay, I learned at South. I’ve had to use the skills over and over again in college, but I LEARNED them in high school. A lot of our classes are college-level, and in many cases they aren’t even APs. My senior year neuroscience textbook was the same textbook that my class used junior year of college…

          • Call Me Carlos the Dwarf

            Joe Golding is a fantastic teacher.

        • Arts2010

          I could not agree more. I got one full A in English at South, and it was on my senior paper. In 4 years at a top college, I’ve gotten 2 B+’s and the rest A’s on papers. My professors compliment the complexity, yet organization of writing structure, which I learned entirely at south. Does grading need to be so strict? I’m not sure, but regardless, the quality of education is top notch. Its easy to lose sight of this as a student, though, when it feels like no matter how hard you work, it’s never enough.

          • Call Me Carlos the Dwarf

            My A in English was on my Macbeth paper junior year, for Mr. Jampol. I was honestly prouder of that than I was at getting published in my first college’s collection of freshman essays.

            The only time I’ve gotten a B+ in college was a freshman philosophy class I had to take for the honors program I was in at that school. Honestly, it’s the only time I’ve felt that a professor held me to the same standards my High School teachers did and I’m a history major, so the writing standard should be pretty damn high.

            I’m at a Top 20 school this year and my professors still complement me for how technically strong my writing is. One even recruited me as a writing center tutor. That’s all thanks to Ms. Marder, Mr. Jampol, Mr. Golding, Mr. Turner and Dr. Okun, because I still feel that I need to tighten my writing up a lot.

    • Arts2010

      This post is so insightful. I think its combination of these factors and the academic rigors. How can we create a safe space for learning at schools, free of these external pressures?

    • mb495

      There are certainly many factors contributing to these tragedies, and the many pressures from wealth disparities are undoubtedly among them. NPS cannot address all these issues, including the wealth disparity issues — those are community, state, national and international challenges. However, NPS can and should address the combination of NPS institutional and cultural factors that contribute to the pressure cooker that is damaging so many students, and they can and should work with parents and students to identify and accomplish these changes.

      Case in point: It is highly alarming the number of former NPS students at good universities who have reported in these comments that their *high school classes* — and not just AP classes — were harder than or at the same level as their college classes! This should not be the case. There is so much research that shows that human brains are not fully developed until about age 20, so by subjecting high-school-age kids to the demands and pressures of college-age kids, we are not preparing them. We’re harming them. NPS teachers and administration control the level of the curriculum — parents can reach out about it, but cannot change it for the school or even control it for their own child.

      Chronic sleep deprivation is also a harm. 1 hour of homework per class with 5 classes (math, science, english, history, foreign language) is 5 hours of homework per night. Those time guidelines hold regardless of the level of the course — curric 1, curric 2, honors or AP. If students do something after school (athletics, music/drama, clubs, or job), and don’t get home until 5:30 or 6 pm, add 1-1.5 hours total for dinner, showering, and perhaps talking to parents for a few minutes, and you get a 12:00 am or 12:30 am bedtime. And that’s with no down time to relax! If the homework is challenging, or longer than 1 hour (very common!), then kids who do all the homework are easily up to 1 or 2 am. School starts at 7:30 am, so that’s way too little sleep!

      Again, the NPS administration has both the power and the responsibility to address across-the-board homework time. Individual teachers are crucial in this, certainly, but it requires coordination to get ALL teachers, coaches, and other adults guiding students’ extra-curricular activities to reduce time expectations. NPS can’t even get all teachers to honor the “homework free” periods! Most do, but it doesn’t take many exceptions to make for a stressful break. It’s the NPS administration’s responsibility to make sure that ALL teachers comply with school policies. Parents can reach out on these issues, but cannot change them systemically, nor can parents control the time factors for their individual student.

  • clunkburly

    I think that it is unlikely for this problem to be solved if everyone keeps denying that they have any responsibility in the matter. So far, I have read comments by teachers that say it is the parents’ fault, parents saying that it is the teachers’ fault, administrators saying that it is the government’s fault, and so forth. Perhaps each of us needs to take responsibility for the welfare of our children. This includes teachers, parents, administrators, the government and the health care community. As long as we continue to point fingers while doing nothing to change things ourselves, this problem will only grow worse. Do what is within your control. Work with others. Our children are our future, and so far our future is not looking promising.

    • NutshellsGuy

      One can only work with others when the others are willing to work collaboratively.

      • clunkburly

        I’m hopeful that people will work together. I think that everyone involved wants what is best for the children. I also think that it will take everyone involved to solve the problems. It has to start with admitting that there is a problem, putting aside blame, understanding the roots of the problems, and then finding solutions. So far, we’ve done step 1, agreeing that there is a problem. The next steps, require collaboration, of course. But don’t say “when others.” Say, “when we.”

  • Kristine R. Wise

    It seems that this issue is associated most frequently with communities consisting of high socioeconomic bases. One problem is that the higher rating of the public education within a given community, the more appealing it is for parents/buyers.

    The subliminal message we are feeding our local representatives is that we expect them to deliver on the promise of that highly rated school system, i.e., we expect high test scores from our kids. This naturally trickles down to our children. We are perhaps unknowingly responsible for the messages that the kids in our communities receive.

    I agree with the author; a cultural change must take place both within the school system as well as within each family.

  • Lawrence

    NO, because there was no indication that the female who had eating disorders suffered from depression or overachieving. But the one thing they all had in common was that they were labeled as having “mental health” disorders and with that comes a flood of anti-depressants and probably a host of other medications.

    These medications are dangerous and as the label clearly indicates, can actually CAUSE suicidal and homicidal thoughts.

    • http://www.judydunn.net/ Judy D

      Depression and anxiety are co-morbid disorders with eating disorders. The rate of suicide among people who suffer from an eating disorder is higher than any other form of mental illness, and is generally the cause of death from an eating disorder; not starvation or other consequences. I suggest a little research on Google.
      You are suggesting throwing the baby out with the bathwater with regards to medication. Just because a risk exists, does not mean it will automatically occur. There is a risk, yes. But if the medication leads to suicidal ideation in an individual it will manifest itself very quickly, and disappear just as quickly when the medication is stopped. One medication might have this affect for an individual, and another not. Without any medication, some who suffer from severe depression would commit suicide. Medications have saved more lives than not. Such extreme reactions to all medications is not helpful. It is merely reactionary.

  • Jodi Daynard

    As a long-time member of the South faculty, I resent the implication that our recent tragedies were due to a “school culture” problem. It’s just not that simple. While we may in fact have a “culture” problem, or a “Newton culture” problem, we teachers are not the ones pushing our students to attend all top colleges or take all AP course or get all A’s. I don’t know of a single teacher who espouses such a narrow-minded and unhealthy view of adolescent achievement. Many families come to Newton with the idea of achieving the American Dream, and many of my students see this dream in unhealthily narrow terms. But I’m not the one giving them those ideas, and neither are my caring and devoted peers.

    • NutshellsGuy

      Hi Jody,

      Do you have a sense as to why there is so much homework piled on? Are teachers responding to pressures from the parents? The administration?

      (We have seen this at even the middle school level. As just one example of many: Several teachers who piled on homework and assignments incessantly, and without regard for student toxic stress, never even returned the homework with corrections or a grade. The students felt that this was a black hole that sucked up their time and energy and gave them no guidance or feedback in return.)

      • Call Me Carlos the Dwarf

        There isn’t that much homework, though, unless you take 3 or more Honors/AP level courses.

        I didn’t do much homework in middle school, but that wasn’t because the workload was unreasonable.

        • Esther

          I take 4 AP courses and an honors math class. The amount of homework assigned varies from teacher to teacher and from school to school– you shouldn’t speak for everyone and ignore the minority of people who actually do have a crushing amount of homework.

          • Call Me Carlos the Dwarf

            I mean, I took 4 Honors classes in 10th grade (I had Ms. Q for history, and she gave much more work than Rinaldi), 3 Honors classes and APUSH in 11th grade (Jampol’s Honors English is a much higher workload than AP Journalism), and AP Euro, AP Lit and AB Calc senior year, all while averaging over 10 hours a week, all year, at practice for various sports.

            It’s highly, highly unlikely that you either have more work or less time to do it in than I did, and my workload was far from unmanageable, much less “crushing.”

            I didn’t always manage it well, but that was entirely, unambiguously on me.

      • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

        Is there really that much homework though? I think this is a complaint that happens at every high school across the country. Students are going to have to do a few hours of homework a night, a lot of which they will not enjoy. This is just a part of going to high school

        • Ryan Condon

          This is exactly the type attitude that leads to a culture like this. “High schoolers’ problems aren’t ‘real’ problems, they just need to get over it, it’s really not that hard, just stop whining about it.”
          They have to deal with just as much crap and stress as the rest of society, and ignoring that because “they’re just spoiled kids” is dangerous and unfair.

          • Call Me Carlos the Dwarf

            But there really isn’t that much homework, and the parents, not the high schoolers, are the ones whining about it.

          • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

            That’s not what I said is it? Obviously, if someone is becoming depressed or having psychological problems, the teachers should tailor their assignments to that student. However, there is no evidence these tragedies were the result of stress (we often look for simple answers to tragedies when the answers are usually far more complex and diverse). Of course problems deserve concern. However, there IS going to be stress in life, there IS going to be things you have to deal with that you don’t want to deal with. It would be wrong to create an environment where kids have no stress, have nothing that they don’t enjoy, and have nothing they have to “deal” with. “They have to deal with just as much crap and stress as the rest of society” this is true. But when you are in the real world, you don’t get to go to your boss and complained that you are too stress and don’t have enough time to hangout with your friends. We all went to high school, we all had to do homework we didn’t want to do, and we are all better for it. One day you will understand this. High school is a very short period of someone’s life…if for a portion of this you have to do homework that is challenging, you’ll get over it.

          • dis

            stress is complex and diverse and I will take a RADICAL leap and say that stress is involved in suicide generally, and that most high schoolers have some amount of stress related to high school, another RADICAL leap that suicides of high schoolers may be related to the thing around which their time revolves. in my experience teachers don’t tailor anything for reasons of fairness (if you can’t finish assignments you either fail or withdraw), you either go to school in the same way as everybody else, you get sent to a support program which comes with a stigma, or you drop out… it makes me sad that your point of contention is that everyone must have an equally shitty time (as americans we may not want to think this way)

        • Esther

          Yes, there is really that much homework. It’s quite frustrating to hear someone belittling the challenges that high students such as myself face every day. I’m on a “break” right now and can’t even enjoy it because of all the work that I have piled up. The only enjoyable parts of this vacation are being able to sleep more than 5 hours a night and actually having time for SAT prep and job/scholarship applications. Sometimes I struggle to remember that high school is temporary–one day, I’ll be able to escape this miserable routine and look forward to waking up in the morning.

          • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

            The reason some of us don’t have too much sympathy is because we’ve all been there. Yeah, it sucked getting homework over vacation, and yeah it sucked not being able to hang out with friends because I had to do homework…but that’s school. Everyone of us who has graduated high school has to to read textbooks we didn’t want to read, write essays we didn’t want to write, and stay up late studying for tests we didn’t want to take. I’d venture to guess that everyone of us is better because of it. Yes, somethings in high school suck – as somethings in college and after college suck- but maybe that is necessary to get a good education. It’s not meant to be a party or a summer camp.

          • Esther

            “Every one of us who graduated high school” is irrelevant here– we’re talking about highly competitive and advanced schools. It doesn’t take a genius to graduate high school and get a diploma, the requirements for that are basic.

            According to US News, Newton North is ranked #35 in Massachusetts, while Newton South is ranked #12 in Massachusetts. My school is currently ranked #2 in Massachusetts.

            My point is, this article discusses “High-Achiever School Culture,” and with all due respect, it simply doesn’t apply to the majority of American high school students, past or present. “High school” for me (and the students mentioned in this article) doesn’t mean simply getting a diploma– it means getting a diploma from a competitve school, graduating with high honors, taking the most challenging college-level courses available to us and excelling at them.

            I don’t expect my high school experience to be a party, or a walk in the park, or a piece of cake. I like to challenge myself, but there’s a point where it becomes toxic. It doesn’t help to know that there are people out there who want to pretend that my problems don’t exist.

          • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

            “”High school” for me (and the students mentioned in this article) doesn’t mean simply getting a diploma– it means getting a diploma from a competitve school, graduating with high honors, taking the most challenging college-level courses available to us and excelling at them.”

            Again, no one if forcing you to graduate with high honors or take the most challenging courses. This all comes down to choice…

          • NSHS 1976

            Mr. NoFighting… your photo would indicate that you are an older gentleman which would have graduated high school sometime ago. I can tell you there is a huge difference in the demands of high school now as compared to when I went to school. I really don’t think you can relate with today’s high school students. If you did, the word would be “empathy” not “sympathy”.

          • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

            That’s Peter Sellers from the movie Dr. Strangelove, which my username quotes. I’m 25 and I have younger family members who are still in high school.

          • NSHS 1976

            Well that explains it – you are not a parent and do not have children … when you do then I am sure you will rethink some of your statements/opinions.

          • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

            I’ve been in this students’ situation. Have you?

      • Jodi Daynard

        Well, I think it’s fair to say that we need to be mindful of how much homework we give, but South students are pretty vocal and open in complaining to you if you give too much. Whenever I’ve given more than is reasonable, my students push back pretty vociferously. Or they just don’t do it–it’s not the biggest deal in the world if you don’t do a teacher’s homework. But while South homework pressure hasn’t changed over the 12 years that I’ve been there, the composition of Newton has, and the economy more broadly has. I’ve often asked my students to raise their hands if they feel family pressure on them to excel, and most of the hands come up. Families are worried about their students not getting into colleges and not getting good jobs–especially the many first-generation families that have had to make serious sacrifices to live in Newton. Over the years, South has prided itself on student achievement, but students have come in highly-motivated, to meet very talented and committed staff. So, yes, the school has been proud, but we didn’t create this pressure-cooker.

    • mwsalbgf

      Thank you. In my experiences at South, even the most “wicked” teachers I had were quite interested in seeing me succeed. I certainly never felt that the teachers were the ones pushing me to take all AP/Honors and get all As.

      However, I do believe that Honors/ AP courses are quite different from their Curriculum I (Standard) courses. There is significantly more hand holding and busywork. While my Honors/ AP courses were demanding, they offered me much needed flexibility.

    • NSHS2010

      I’m glad to see an NSHS teacher standing up for herself in this discussion. I did receive a huge amount of homework from my teachers while I was at South, but it was because I chose to take all AP and Honors classes, a decision that was in no way forced upon me by the teachers themselves. The pressure I may have felt to take those classes was internal. The reality is that once I was enrolled in those high-pressure classes, my teachers were often my biggest supports and most ardent cheerleaders. With some very rare exceptions, I largely felt that my teachers wanted me to succeed, and would do anything to help me do so, graciously writing me glowing college recommendations, giving me life advice, and understanding that illnesses sometimes get in the way and assignment extensions are necessary. I even had a teacher who, my senior year, caught wind of the fact that almost 1/3 of the class had applied early decision to the same competitive university and thus made a rule that, out deference to our classmates, we were not to discuss the results of admissions decisions in class once they were released. There was actually an enforced grade-wide rule that no one could wear college paraphernalia until the last week of senior year, so as to dampen the blow of rejections. Most teachers are fervently aware of what their students are going through and try to create an atmosphere that supports whatever that may be. There’s no credence in blaming them for these tragedies.

      • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

        “I did receive a huge amount of homework from my teachers while I was at South, but it was because I chose to take all AP and Honors classes” I’m pretty sure any student at any high school would say this.

        • NSHS2010

          Yes, I agree, which furthers my point. The way education is conducted in the Newton schools is not spectacularly different than at any other high-achieving school, meaning that this string of suicides must be the compound result of other underlying issues — perhaps issues that were heightened by a competitive school atmosphere, but not ones that were caused by the school alone.

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      • Chemist

        I also graduated in 2010 and have never heard of these rules. I wore my sweatshirt, proudly, from the day I got in. College pressure is real and requires serious evaluation, but we must allow students to celebrate their successes. Hiding them will only make for a more competitive environment. I am supportive of my friends, even when they achieve more highly than I do on a task.

    • Earl Henson

      uh Jodi Daynard, unless you specifically tell the students-and they are just kids-that they don’t have to go to a top college or work hard to get an A in your class, you are part of the problem. Do you really think you can sit n the middle of a culture that promotes directly and indirectly getting A’s and going to the best college, and you can say nothing and that somehow signals to the kids that they can just take things at their own pace? Whether you like it or not unless you actively TELL them your ideas, you are part of the culture.

      • Jodi Daynard

        I specifically tell them, of course. If only things were that simple. They’re not. And it hardly helps matters to direct anger towards those of us who know, love, and devote our days to helping these students in every way we can.

  • DS

    This is such a thoughtful essay and rings true for me. Newton South seems to do a great job for the very highest achieving, self motivated kids, but not for the average kid who is made to feel not good enough. We took our son out and sent him to private school after his experience in 9th grade at Newton South.

    • mwsalbgf

      I would strongly disagree with this statement. From my understanding, Roee was very much on the list of very highest achieving students at South. I actually believe that over the years since I have left South the focus has been increasingly placed on average students. Neglected are those who lie at the lower or upper ends of the distribution. Even when I was at South, there was a pervasive attitude from the administration that as a high achieving student I did not require additional support. Instead, I saw tremendous effort focused on helping and improving those who were “average” students. As an AP/Honors student, I felt there was little to no encouragement for me to achieve beyond.

      • Call Me Carlos the Dwarf

        Yeah, it was pretty much sink or swim for me.

  • nshsgrad

    I am not one to post on articles like these, but this article made me pretty angry. The epidemic of teen suicides shows that there is obviously a problem that needs to be addressed, but to blame the high schools and teachers on giving too much homework and not allowing teens to have fun is ludicrous. I do not think that the families in Newton and similar areas know how well they have it.

    I graduated from NSHS a few years ago and definitely felt the pressure to succeed while I was there, but I never felt the urge to take my own life. These teens have underlying mental illnesses which need to be diagnosed and treated, but to blame the schools is incomprehensible to me. I do not think people realize that the alternative is to let kids waste away in high school and get into trouble, similar to what is happening in low income communities that are not fortunate enough to have the resources that Newton does. While some kids have a natural drive to learn and get their homework done to their full potential, most need to be pushed and encouraged to to well from both parents and teachers. To take away this encouragement under the pretense of giving them more time to have fun is to take away the likelihood of success. This premise is obvious; just look at the success of kids in Newton as opposed to that of kids in communities that do not have the parental involvement or teachers that care enough to push their students to learn. And despite all this pressure, kids and teens are still managing to have plenty of fun with their friends.

    The only way in which schools are responsible is by not having adequate mental health screening. However, this is not on the teachers who are busy helping your kids reach their full potential. These suicides are devastating and something needs to change, but the schools are not to blame.

    • mb495

      I agree that there are many factors affecting these suicides, including factors beyond the control of the school district, such as the declining middle class and the very real fears of kids not finding jobs even after attending college. Certainly the difficulties in getting suitable, affordable mental health treatment and insurance coverage, even in Massachusetts, also contribute to such tragedies. Teen suicides are problems in other communities and states, just as these other factors are problems. We moved from a town, in another state, where there were 12 teen suicides in 10 years, so we checked whether Newton had that reputation before we moved several years ago (we couldn’t find any evidence of it on the internet at that time).

      There are steps schools can take to help reduce the teen suicide risk, notably taking steps that students get more sleep. Research suggests that starting school an hour later (8:30 instead of 7:30) greatly improves the amount of sleep teenagers get. These concerns should be seriously discussed and considered by the Newton school administration, not ignored.

    • dis

      As a graduate of NNHS and someone who struggled throughout high school with depression and anxiety (as a result of my ADHD, they tell me), I would like to let you know that all of these issues revolved around school (a very, very specific system of “school” we tend to take for granted), and I’m not sure I would have faced them otherwise.

      You say that kids would get into trouble if there were no school to occupy them. I agree that there would be a lot of unoccupied teenagers, and I think this is one of the main stalwarts against even considering school reform. I also think this is a pathetic reason to defend a learning institution-never for the learning we do there (the fact that we are forced to go disallows us even the choice to learn, mitigating the appeal of learning), as if it were a babysitting service to occupy us while parents are at work. You shouldn’t ask yourself “why?” too often while you’re in high school-you might end up on the cusp of truancy (and with concomitant thoughts of suicide-how can I hope to accomplish anything in life if I can’t accomplish high school?) as I did.

      I won’t go into the details of the endless, varied and painfully silly ways our
      school system (since we have somehow lost the power to imagine more than one) exacerbates latent depression. But I will say that it isn’t just the abstract expectations and pressures that revolve around success and the future, simply getting up early every day for an inordinate amount of time-since high school is touted as a kind of “practice” for the rest of your future as part of the workforce-is enough to screw up natural sleeping patterns of people who are still growing, and the amount of time it takes to succeed grade wise means making choices: exercise, recreation, or sleep. These are all things directly correlated with depression… You have reversed the chicken and the egg, since most depressive types are only predisposed to depression and environment is usually responsible for that decisive kick towards disillusionment and loss of mental health. I also sincerely believe that ADHD only becomes a “disability” in the highly mechanized, scheduled, and automated world we start to experience when we hit high school.

      The conversation needs to be bigger. This is not a problem just in Newton, since the expectation of modern schooling has degenerated into mass production of people obsessed with solely with their future career (trying to “make it through” their present) who know how to fill in bubbles. I really liked to learn before I had no choice.

      • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

        It seems like you have a problem with school and education in general, and not Newton South. Its important that all Americans get educated, if we let teenagers choose whether or not they will go to school, we’d have a major chunk of the population left uneducated.

        • dis

          you have a very provincial idea of what education is if this is the extent of your thought on the subject

          • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

            You don’t think a bunch of 15 year olds would decide not to go to school if given a choice?

          • dis

            mary mary

  • CT

    When my daughter, a Newton South graduate, choose to go to a public university, her guidance counselor commented “What, you didn’t get in to any good schools”. My daughter was devastated. She was then embarrassed to share her choice with fellow students because of the counselor’s attitude.

    • mwsalbgf

      As a Newton South grad, I have had experiences with the guidance department. My opinion of them was lukewarm at best. I would, however, be extremely surprised that any of them would make a comment like that. My counselor encouraged me to look into many top public universities; additionally, virtually applies to UMass Amherst. So I remain skeptical that a counselor would say that. I would not, however, be surprised if a student made those remarks.

    • Earl Henson

      Don’t worry about it. When your daughter graduates debt free she will have the last laugh. I’d be devastated if I had $75k of debt for 4 years of college.

  • Bill Schechter

    As a retired teacher, I can’t deny that teachers sometimes pile it on. Sometimes I piled in on, not because I wanted to drive students to the edge, but because of my own passion for the subject. Also I didn’t want to use worksheets and multiple choice exercises. And parents can give very mixed messages when it come to challenging their kids. I did notice that quite a few kids would return after their first year in college to tell me that college was easier in some ways than high school. The daily blizzard of work had ceased. In my experience–and I don’t mean to be engaging in tit for tat–the greatest single source of stress on kids were genuinely loving and involved loving parents pushing kids to get into a “good school.” (By the way in 1973, when I started teaching, kids applied to three colleges. Now it is a dozen…a mini-industry in itself…then there’s the SAT prep, the sports teams, the building up of the resume, etc, etc. Parental anxieties about the Darwinian nature of our society and the real possibility of downward mobility does get communicated. There are other factors as well: The Internet has speeded time up and created untold opportunities for multi-tasking (and bullying). No kid can handle all that is put on his/her plate. As a consequence, cheating is rife. Yes, that’s true. We have kind of lost the notion that education would be a joy and a pleasure, that one should learn for the sheer love of it. The whole “official” state framework is so punitive and joyless. But in all this, let’s not lose sight of mental illness, some of which surfaces during the teen years. Often when suicide shocks a school community, no one sees it coming…not the parents, not the teachers or counselors, not the kids. We should try to do what we can to make high-achieving schools more sane. But there may not be one “solution.”

    • Bill Schechter

      Postscript: In my old school, I recall they tried to help kids with the pressure by offering massage or meditation rooms during exam week. It was all about helping kids deal with the stress. There was no serious discussion about ratcheting down the stress itself. Meanwhile parents kept pushing their kids into the AP courses, and not for the best reasons. Still most kids did really like the school. If you weren’t there a long time you wouldn’t necessarily see how much more pressured this school and many such schools are now. It just seemed like a fact that needed to be accepted.

  • thinkaboutit

    I do agree with the author to some extent, however, I also feel that his view is a bit biased (despite his expertise). Why do the parents continue to allow their children to be stressed by overwhelming / impossible demands if not for a desire to have their children succeed? At the same time they seem to be slapping the very hand (the schools) that are trying to perhaps meet the high expectations of the families themselves. Parents do have options (especially those with financial means) – they can move to a less competitive district, or stay in Newton and push back to the system more often and with a louder voice, if indeed they feel that the workload is too much. I would imagine that many of the parents chose to live in Newton specifically because of its reputation, and that comes with a price, tragedy in the case of these three students. I live in a non-affluent community and my children are very well adjusted when you consider the whole child. They aren’t high performers in school, and are not Ivy-bound, but that is okay with my husband and I. We want them to be happy, productive members of society, whatever path they choose. If you live in a community that values education to the extreme, then you will see outcomes such as those happening in Newton. It’s tragic. At the end of the day though, it is a parent’s responsibility to protect his or her child. I’m not saying that parents of the deceased children are “to blame” – but I also feel that the school system isn’t either. It is simply holding up its end of a rather misguided “contract”, since many parents do want the Ivy outcomes. Finger pointing never works in these situations – everyone is culpable. Value systems drive performance levels. Consider tweaking the value system, collectively, and the students will likely still perform at high levels, albeit more realistic and sustainable levels.

    • NutshellsGuy

      Hi thinkaboutit,

      “Why do the parents continue to allow their children to be stressed by overwhelming / impossible demands if not for a desire to have their children succeed?”

      How do you STOP kids from being stressed by these demands?

      I do agree that there needs to be more pushback by the parents.

      • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

        You tell them not to take the AP courses or the honors courses, that’s its ok if they don’t make the honor roll or don’t get straight As. It seems that a lot of parents complain about how much school is stressing out their kids, but also expect they’re kids to get all straight As in all AP courses.

      • thinkaboutit

        Assuming you are sincere in your question, I will answer it. If not, forgive me for assuming you are. You are right in that you cannot stop stress if nothing changes. It’s like that serenity saying, Grant me the courage to accept the things I cannot change and courage to know the difference. If you know that your child is being asked to perform at levels beyond what he or she can handle, then something needs to change. While I agree that those who tragically take their lives probably also suffer from co-morbid depression or other mental health issues, stress is damaging to all kids. Even the seemingly most well-adjusted and resilient kids suffer physically and mentally from stress – especially when their brains are still forming. Back to the “something needs to change”. Think about this analogy: If you knew that your child was crossing dangerous train tracks while traveling to school every day, and just barely squeaking through as the train roared by, you’d do something. Would you ask the train to slow down? Maybe. Would you ask the train to take a different route? Maybe. Would you help your child navigate his or her route to school differently? Most likely. If it was the ONLY way for your child to get to school, you’d have to re-evaluate how important it was for him or her to get there, and maybe change schools or walk your child there holding his or hand to keep him safe. You get my point. If you live in a high performing district, and you are grooming your child for high performing colleges you need to either find ways to manage the stress (which sounds easier than it is and who really knows if it’s being managed properly) or reevaluate your priorities. It cannot work both ways – at least in my humble opinion.

        • NutshellsGuy

          Well, we live in a high-performing district but are not grooming our child for anything but to be happy and fulfilled in life. It’s still a challenge, and what’s most sad is how unnecessary this is for a child to acquire an outstanding education.

          I can tell you from years at MIT that the people who succeed at the very top are not necessarily – or even very often – those who sweat the most. It’s those who “get it” about what they are working for. That takes interest to the point of passion, awareness of both the larger picture and the details, taking joy in what they’re doing, and yes, some amount of sweat. But blindly registering hour after hour of facts and concepts to pass tests and get good grades is the antithesis of success.

          And again, especially not at the high school level. These kids are still at a very key developmental stage and need sleep, exercise, a family and social life, and enough challenge in their schooling to keep them engaged and soaking in knowledge without it getting to the point of being the intellectual equivalent of a sweatshop.

          • thinkaboutit

            Yes, I agree wholeheartedly with the sweatshop analogy. I would imagine though, that you may be in the minority with your well-rounded perspective. The other piece is that success often comes through networking, and living in a community such as Newton definitely provides those valuable connections. However, as you suggested, book smart isn’t world smart or street smart and will only go so far. Hopefully this dialogue will continue and change will happen.

          • Call Me Carlos the Dwarf

            Well yeah, but you don’t need to do that at South. I think South actually does a pretty good job of not being a sweater school. For most higher level classes, you have to develop skills, not just know facts, and the absolutely fantastic teachers are a key part of that.

            South’s environment is actually probably disadvantageous to the sweatshop kids, which probably explains why they and their parents are the ones primarily complaining about stress. The Honors and AP level classes require talent and engagement, not just effort, in order to succeed.

            If a student isn’t a decent writer, they are not going to succeed in an Honors English class, no matter how hard they try. It’s on the students and the parents to recognize their strengths and weaknesses and put themselves in a position to succeed, rather than blindly chasing honors classes. After all, it’s not fair to the kids who do belong at the Honors level for a teacher to adjust his or her curriculum or grading to serve the students who are better suited for the Curriculum I level.

    • Pscle

      “Consider tweaking the value system” You mean voting? What are the choices? I think that’s ultimately what this article is getting at. The whole “reform movement” and all the ugliness that comes with it.

      • Call Me Carlos the Dwarf

        I think he means that parents should teach kids to have an intrinsic sense of self-worth that is not defined by some illusory need to get into a “top school” or have awesome extracurriculars.

      • thinkaboutit

        Well, as I replied to “nutshells”, I think you have to consider what you can and cannot actually do to affect change. If I were an NPS parent whose child was being negatively impacted by exposure to stress, I would tweak my own value system that was driving me to push my child’s performance to those levels. That may mean drastic measures like moving, or less drastic measures such as dropping out of higher level courses or taking less extra-currics (which probably feels as drastic as physically moving to some). The point is that something will change in this situation, even if you do nothing. Another analogy (sorry :) – think of heavy loads on a bridge. You either need to lower the load, shorten the length between spans to increase its capacity, or do nothing and watch it snap. Some of the changes are more positive than others. As parents, we have to think about what’s really important to us. While parents are considering mobilizing a reform movement they need to consider what can be done now to make a small ripple for your own child. Then you will have made the largest and most important reform ever. I think the article is suggesting that the school needs to tweak its value system, but I would argue that the school values have formed over time because the parents have actually wanted it to be rigorous and have taken great pride in rigor and the outcomes.

  • mb495

    This writer has real insights about the problems in Newton and the need for systemic response, beyond the current push to tell students they shouldn’t take all honors classes.

    My daughter is a student at Newton South, and there *is* pressure from all sides for students to lose sleep. The scariest is the pressure coming from the Newton staff.

    Teachers give massive amounts of homework, often for the next day, so even a well-organized student has no choice but to stay up late if s/he has any other event that day (sports, music, family activity). There’s also always some teacher who doesn’t honor “no homework” vacations — there have been 3 this year and my daughter’s had homework for 2 of them.

    I’m a teacher. I understand the value of homework, but there are there are ways to make homework “smarter” – to cut down on the scut work and focus on the essentials – but these require more effort on the teachers’ parts and more importantly coordinated efforts across teachers and departments, something which will only happen with administration impetus and support.

    Coaches can actually be worse, expecting students to be dressed and ready to go at the end of study period (so the kids miss much of study period leaving early to get changed for sports), running practices for 2+ hours, often leaving parents sitting in cars for 30-40 minutes waiting for their kid to finish. There’s no regard for the kids’ needs to do homework or the family’s needs for accurate end-times to manage increasingly complicated schedules.

    Again, systemic change on that regard is going to have to come from the office of the athletic director, but the current AD is unresponsive to parent concerns on this score.

    Counselors are not perceived as helpful by the students, since it’s difficult for kids to get appointments with them. My daughter tells me that she and her friends usually have to wait 4-8 days for an appointment. It shouldn’t be news to the counseling office that how students are treated in an ordinary exchange about getting an appointment for a schedule change will affect whether they feel comfortable seeking help there in a time of crisis.

    I hope that Newton superintendent takes this writer seriously and takes a more proactive approach to the institutional problems affecting the suicide outbreak, including but not limited to Newton staff expections that students ought to give up on sleep for each individual teacher and coach without regard to how all these different demands subtract to 4-5 hours of sleep per night, certainly a recipe for hopelessness.

    • NutshellsGuy

      Thank you so much for your great remarks!

    • Call Me Carlos the Dwarf

      How on Earth does your daughter need to wait 4-8 days? I would always just walk in to talk with mine.

    • rcc207

      Hi mb495,
      I’m Russell, a student a Babson. Suicide is an issue that has closely affected my life, and I’m currently filming a documentary on the subject. Having read your input, I would be very appreciative to have the chance to speak with you. I think your opinions could be really valuable in bringing some of the possible causes of Newton’s recent tragedies to light. If you are at all interested, please contact me at rchamberlin1@babson.edu. Thank you.

    • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

      If your kid is stressed about splitting time between school work and sports…well, they can always quit sports. Maybe part of the problem is students are way too over scheduled with extracurricular activities. Also, you’re a teacher…I bet there are plenty of students and parents at your school that also complain about too much homework.

      • emilyzola

        So your suggestion is for students to give up all enjoyable
        extracurricular activites in order to spend more time on homework? Great idea. That will cheer them up.

        • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

          I’m saying if they are feeling stressed between their homework and their many extracurricular activities, they should think about rearranging their schedules. Based on the comment, it did not seem as if their kid was enjoying sports. “Coaches can actually be worse, expecting students to be dressed and ready to go at the end of study period (so the kids miss much of study period leaving early to get changed for sports), running practices for 2+ hours…” My point was no one is forcing them to do that.

          • niki713

            Actually, the expectations of colleges, summer programs, and internships are forcing them to do that. You can get a perfect score on the SAT and have a 4.0 GPA and still be rejected from every single university you apply to. And this isn’t just a Newton problem. I went to one of the top schools in the country in Austin, Texas and this article applies to that high school as well as many others.

          • Call Me Carlos the Dwarf

            Yes, it is important to have realistic safeties when you’re applying to colleges, because transferring is really easy if you get good grades.

          • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

            “You can get a perfect score on the SAT and have a 4.0 GPA and still be rejected from every single university you apply to”. This really depends on what university you apply to. If you have a 4.0 GPA and a perfect SAT school and apply to at least 10 schools, some of them being state schools, it would be very hard to be rejected by all of them (although still possible as some of the decision making is completely random and based on having a “well-rounded” student body). I know plenty of kids who do not even have close to a 4.0 and did mediocre on their SATs but got into decent state schools and private universities. Not everyone has to go to Harvard.

          • Call Me Carlos the Dwarf

            It sounds like she’s a baseball parent pissed off that Coach Jordan’s practices run long, honestly.

            Anyway, I always did better in school when I was in season, because I had a productive way to blow off steam before doing homework.

      • Adam

        Not to mention that without extracurricular activities, kids aren’t getting into college these days. And since a college degree is practically a prerequisite for many jobs these days, getting in is critical.

        But then, they could just skip college, right? :-/

      • pursuedbyabear531

        I’m a student at Sharon High School, which has a culture similar to that of Newton South, and I can tell you right now that kids need extra-cirriculars nowadays in order to get into the colleges they want to go to. Colleges won’t accept you without them, even if you do have the right grades. Also, extra-cirriculars are the only time of the day when you can be around your friends and not stress out about school as much; getting rid of them won’t help a depressed kid.

        • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

          How does the culture of a high school relate to a fact that colleges look at extracurricular activities as part of the acceptance process? That’s the college’s culture, not the high schools. Also, there are many other options for extracurricular activities – besides sports and others run through the school – that are less time consuming. For instance, many volunteering opportunities only meet once a week or only on the weekends. Colleges love volunteering.

          • niki713

            It’s the culture of the education system as a whole. You can’t just have one extracurricular, you have to have a range and the applicant has to show significant dedication/achievement in each one. Sure, colleges love volunteering- they require upwards of 100 hours often, but they EXPECT volunteering. It’s like a checklist of pre-reqs they look at- grades, SAT/ACT, APs, honors societies, and THEN they look to see if you have something really unique, like research at a university or your own business.

          • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

            Another problem is the schools these kids are applying to. You don’t HAVE to go to Ivy League. There are plenty of good state and public universities that will accept students with less-than-perfect GPAs and fewer extra curricular activities. You can get just as good of an education at these schools. Again, this all comes down to choice.

          • Anderson Lynne Mar

            That I agree with! I went to University of Maine. They do not require SAT’s and the tuition is cheap. Apply to smaller colleges that take anything with a pulse. Ivy League is overrated and a debt-trap.

        • Earl Henson

          @pursedbybear “kids need extra-cirriculars nowadays in order to get into the colleges they want to go to. ” ================
          So nobody has ever been accepted to college without extra-curriculars? How do you know this? Because John Gatto talked to Yale and Harvard people who said things like football don’t matter as much as ‘individual pursuits with ‘high danger’ involved like offshore sailing.”

      • dis

        lack of exercise is directly correlated with depression…

        • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

          So go jogging or kayaking or hiking. There are plenty of other options for exercise that take up less time besides school sports. You could even take your homework to the gym, I know I did in college.

          • dis

            Exercising daily is absolutely necessary for me, maybe because of the ADHD (exercising for an hour before I study allows me to avoid taking adderall altogether) and when I was in high school it was absolutely impossible for me to exercise daily, after school I was so exhausted from not getting enough sleep after doing homework (and the clinical depression I suffered meant I was never not tired-no matter how much I slept) that I would nap for hours, waking up after the sun went down (lowering my already deficient levels of vitamin D). basically it’s impossible to take a breath if you’re depressed in high school and it was impossible for me to not be depressed because high school starts so damn early and eats up all of your time. I think you are just here to be a contrarian, so disregard all my first-hand experience with everything this article is dealing with i guess

      • Earl Henson

        I quit track after 10th grade so I would have time to study. Too much time waiting for the coach, sitting around, etc. I jogged on my own time. I still do 28 years later.

    • Guest

      I am a student at Newton South taking 2 AP classes and 1 honors, along with 2 other curriculum 1 classes. I spend, on average, I’d say 30 minutes a night on homework.

      While yes, I do most likely put less effort into it than your daughter, the end result is the same:
      The teacher walks around the class, glances over the paper to see that there’s writing on it and moves on.

      A lot of what high school is is managing your time. If this means that you look up the answer to a question that stumped you instead of spending 15 minutes brute forcing it, so be it.

      That being said, a lot of kids don’t do what I do because of the pressure; it is very obviously there at South.

      I’ve played multiple sports and never were you in trouble if you went to J Block for help and came to practice late.

      • Guest

        I agree with you that there is rarely, if not never, a penalty for going to a study period after school (such as J block or X block, as it is referred to at Newton North) and being late for an extra-curricular. I do however disagree with your point on homework.

        I recently graduated Newton North and, in my time at the school, I noticed that most of my homework assignments were being collected by teachers/TAs, checked thoroughly for completeness, or discussed in class. While there are exceptions to this, I found that I needed to do my homework each night in order to maintain the GPA I believed to be good enough.

        There is a stigma in the Newton school communities to succeed and perform far above average that it turns the students against each other. While students may receive these common pressures from parents and teachers, their peers are also adding to the equation.

        For example:
        I applied to 4 schools my senior year. While they may not have been Ivy Leagues or supreme private institutions, I was satisfied with my choices. Not until I saw people getting into schools early action/decision or with high academic scholarships did I feel the sense that I was lesser than my own friends. When I told my friends that I was going to UMass Amherst, a state school, some rejoiced while others scoffed.

        My point is that Newton needs to take notice of these pressures that students face on a daily basis. It has gotten to the point where they are nervous to talk academics around their own peers, let alone parents and teachers. I hope that this article reaches out to the Newton School District and sheds light on something so evident, yet painfully overlooked.

        • Call Me Carlos the Dwarf

          Anyone who scoffs at you for going to UMass is an idiot. It’s a great, cheap education, if you put the work in.

      • zlatky

        I go to south too… no way you have only 30 min of homework a night

      • Lawrence

        What is the propensity to take Adderall and other drugs to enhance concentration?

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  • TJtruthandjustice

    This is one of the reasons I chose not to settle in Newton. There is much more to life than test scores or getting into the Ivies, but don’t try telling that to the helicopter parents inhabiting our more “affluent” communities. When it comes to school districts, I’d gladly shave off a few MCAS points for some sanity and well-being any day of the week.

  • http://www.mightycasey.com/ MightyCasey

    I am not a parent, but I was a kid, and a student. In the years since, I’ve watched with alarm as the mark of academic achievement has been increasingly tied to an obstacle course of standardized testing, with both teachers and students winding up face down in the mud. “Standardizing” education is a laudable goal, but each kid learns in different ways, at differing paces. Granted, some of those ways/speeds can be standardized for the fat middle of the ol’ bell curve, but not as many as the standardizer army would have us believe.

    The pressure of standardization takes the joy of teaching and learning out of the whole game. Everyone’s a slave to a checklist, and to dots on a test paper. What we learn from that is not history, or calculus, or philosophy, but the enslavement of the assembly line. I don’t know if I would thrive in today’s educational landscape. I did fine in the one a generation ago, but that was a simpler, un-standardized time.

    • ParallelLine

      Teaching, Learning and Scoring:

      There is a pervasive misuse of scoring as a means to teach and learn. Teaching has become more about scorekeeping. Teachers are viewed more as scorekeepers because the balance has tipped so much toward scoring students. –Even to the point of punishing students with scores
      when they do not perform so well, no matter how hard students try, under
      varying life circumstances.

      There should be a more benign balance between teaching, learning and scoring so students are encouraged by seeing that they have a chance to do well in the game by working hard to learn the subject matter that
      they are being taught.

      To relieve some academic stress, school systems should institute “second chance learning practices” such as by giving all students the opportunity to retake any test or quiz or paper to improve and substitute scores. Students are allowed to retake SATs many times for better scores.

      Perhaps the tip towards scorekeeping is a reflection of our increasing computerized world where scoring anything that can be scored is the norm. And our kids are no exception.

      Teaching should be more about learning than scorekeeping.

      • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

        “There is a pervasive misuse of scoring as a means to teach and learn. Teaching has become more about scorekeeping.” As I teacher, I totally agree with this. We are pushed to teach for the test, rather than to teach, well, for the education. However, I’m not sure what the solution is. Since the test scores have such a great affect on whether or not the student gets into a good college, it would be unfair to the student to NOT prepare them for the test. However, in preparing them for the test, the students lose the opportunity to learn about much more diverse ideas.

  • acorn2oak

    When my son was a senior at Newton North, during the 2009-2010 school year, the then-principal scheduled the National Commended Scholar Awards night the day before the Early Decision/Early Action deadline. About 1/3 of the kids skipped the ceremony, as they were busy finishing up their apps. The principal was clueless as to why so few students came forward to receive their certificates when she called their names. She had scheduled the awards night for her convenience, with no regard for the deadline faced by the students. There is just one example, of many we experienced during our eight years as North parents, of some faculty/staff being rather oblivious to the reality of student life. Of course, there are many faculty and staff who genuinely do care, although we have lost some of them to other school systems.

    • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

      See, you make an ok point, but this just shows how much pressure comes from the students themselves and their parents. No one was forcing them to be “Commended Scholars” or to apply early decision, that’s a choice made by the students and their parents.

      • Jess

        NoFightingInTheWarRoom, I think you’re very mistaken. I graduated one of the most prestigious high schools in Connecticut last year, and there was certainly pressure from the school, as well as cultural norms in my town to apply early action/win awards/etc. My guidance counselor definitely pressured me to apply early action to as many schools as possible, whereas my parents put absolutely no pressure on me to do so. Colleges not only now focus on SAT/ACT scores, but also the length of one’s résumé. Generally at my school, the average résumé would include multiple sports teams, high ranking positions in clubs, and one or more jobs. Top tier schools will generally not take as much interest in you if you /don’t/ have an excessive amount of activities listed on your application. The high school environment is also incredibly competitive (even cut-throat), so if my peers are competing for the “Commended Scholars” award, I’m going to feel the pressure to live up to my peers, especially if we’re applying to the same place (for example, around 40 people each year from my school apply to Bucknell and only a handful are accepted.) In addition, my guidance counselor also put pressure on me to take as many AP and honors classes to increase my chance of winning these awards. If it weren’t for my peers/colleges/my counselor, I would not have felt such mounting pressure to be perfect in the eyes of college applications. For example, a friend of mine who is a senior this year, applied to 28 schools and my boyfriend’s sister applied to around 20. I highly doubt they would have done this on her own (to put this into perspective, I only applied to 7, which was around the average.) Honestly, it is a lot nicer to apply to some schools early action—imagine how awful it would be to fill out 28 applications by the end of January 1st, but when I felt pressure to apply to schools early action, it was NOT because of myself or my parents, it was from cultural norms of my high school, enforced by the college application process. The amount of times I’ve had to console my friends in midst of panic attacks about not getting accepted/not being good enough was too much. Certainly, a small number of people may have pressure put on by themselves and parents; however, that number is extremely low. If I hadn’t faced pressure from cultural norms/colleges, I wouldn’t have played two sports in high school, taken a substantial amount of advanced placement classes, headed multiple clubs, and exerted myself to win multiple awards—all to look appealing on paper to my colleges.

        • Call Me Carlos the Dwarf

          None of the teachers or guidance counselors at South pressured me to apply early action.

          And your friend and your boyfriend’s sister are absolutely nuts. It’s simply not smart to apply to that many schools. I applied to 12, and that was very stupid of me, because the excess quantity it definitely affected the overall quality of my applications. Anything more than 9 or 10 is a bad move.

          Also, colleges really don’t care about that stuff as much as people think they do.

          • Ucantmakethisup

            I agree…They know that this is occurring and they want focused students, not burned out ones. A lot of these Universities are now going after Homeschoolers….Independent learners with a focus on learning. Personally I was shocked to see that, but I think they are getting tired of the “cookie cutter” crowd. When I applied to college (a million years ago) I applied to 4 tops, this 9-28 is totally insane.
            We have created a nightmare. Kids have their whole lives to be grown-up saddled with enormous responsibilities, why torture them so young?
            I’m glad my two oldest had fun in HS and college, I’m hoping the same for my younger two.

          • Chilonit

            I didn’t go to school here but I will have to guide three kids through it in a few years. I loved reading your post because it reaffirms my sentiments. I was afforded to be carefree during high school and go to a good state university in my country of birth (there are some private colleges but they don’t have such good reputations) and finish my studies without any debt. What I see happening here is saddening me; the pressures, the cost and all at such a young age.

      • emilyzola

        You’re arguing just to argue.

  • David Seaman

    I was a public school teacher in Massachusetts for my entire career and only recently had to stop for a severe illness. It is ALWAYS to someone’;s political advantage to bash education and as long as we use our children as political fodder then we are raping them.However, suicide is the fatal end to a malignant illness called depression- so badly named- and there is insufficient treatment, understanding, and respect for this illness in our culture. Almost 75% of teenage depression cases are a result of PTSD- an immeasurable pain- and until we can properly treat and research depression will cling to it’s 40% death rate. Inflexability in schools and at home certainly add to the problem, but as I’ve been saying for 32 years, we should treat each and every student as though he or she has a 504 plan.