Teen Leaps to Death From Third-story School Window

A 17-year-old youth from Ramat Hasharon died yesterday afternoon shortly after he fell from a third-story window of the high school where he was in the 12th grade.

Police believe the fall was intentional, pointing to a note found in his backpack that mentioned a failed romance and was addressed to the boy's parents.

"It's not a case where you can say that the writing was on the wall," said the principal of the Rothberg Comprehensive High School after the incident.

Shortly after 9 A.M. yesterday, a loud noise was heard in the school's courtyard. Teachers and students found the youth on the ground, with serious injuries. A paramedic who rushed to the site said he was told that the boy had fallen from a third-floor window. The resuscitation efforts ended about an hour later at Petah Tikva's Beilinson Hospital, where the youth was declared dead.

Police who were also called to the school say an initial investigation points to suicide. They said the boy skipped his morning classes and climbed to a window in the third-floor hall, from which he jumped. The lone witness was a female student who saw the fall, but no one saw the climb or any preparations.

After the incident, teachers who found the boy's backpack near the window discovered a letter inside a notebook, addressed to his parents. The boy's mother works at the school. The letter is thought to explain that the suicide was related to a relationship that was recently broken off. The ex-girlfriend was at the school at the time of the incident. She and another girl who were very upset were taken to Schneider Children's Medical Center for treatment.

Later, the boy's parents called the hospital and invited the ex-girlfriend to their home so they could talk to her.

"It shows generosity of spirit," friends of the family said yesterday. "Despite what happened, they want to meet with her."

Many friends from the boy's scout troop came to the family's home in the Neveh Magen neighborhood. The troop led by the boy and his friends convened for the first meeting of the school year on Tuesday. It was considered a particularly successful meeting, and the boy was reportedly very happy about it. His good mood contributed to the disbelief of the boy's family after his suicide.

Classes were suspended at Rothberg yesterday, and social workers and psychologists from the municipality were called in to help students deal with the incident. In addition, all the students were sent home early with a note of explanation for their parents.

Students at a neighboring high school, Alon, were also affected by news of the incident and psychologists were dispatched to them as well.