Self-harming students receive help from school

NESHOBA COUNTY, Miss. (WTOK) - Several middle school students repeatedly cut themselves on their hands and arms.

It's called "self-injury" or "self-harm" and concerned parents want to know how the school system is handling the disturbing situation.

Neshoba Central Superintendent Lundy Brantley says four middle school students cut themselves and school officials aren't sure why.

"We really don't know what the exact reason is."

Concerned parents, who did not want be identified, believe the 'self- injury' could involve bullying, peer pressure or could be part of some dark and disturbing game or ritual.

"According to the kids themselves, they said they did not do it here. They did it at home," says Brantley.

Regardless of the reason and where it happened, the students are getting help.

"They are in counseling sessions with our own counselors," says Brantley. "From what I understand, they've been referred to some local counseling agencies, as well."

After talking to the students and their parents, the school counselor sent out a No Harm Contract. It asked students to seek help if they're thinking about hurting themselves. The contract also required a parent's signature and asked to meet with the children regularly to 'find appropriate ways in dealing with their emotions related to self-harm.'

"It gives them someone to talk to, that they know is a neutral subject. They sometimes will open up to our counselors," says Brantley. "If not we will find someone that they will open up to, to try and help them."

Neshoba Central partners with Weems Mental Health Center to help students in situations like this.

A concerned parent sent the pictures to Newscenter 11 and gave us permission to use the images.