In wake of student’s suicide, Alex Boyé brings positive message to Pine View High School

ST. GEORGE — Entertainer Alex Boyé paid a special visit to Pine View High School during the school’s lunch hour Friday, sharing a message of hope and support in the wake of a 17-year-old student’s suicide earlier in the week.

Hundreds of Pine View students opted to skip or delay eating lunch and instead headed into the auditorium to hear Boyé’s message.

Entertainer Alex Boyé speaks during a lunchtime assembly at Pine View High School, St. George, Utah, Sept. 28, 2018 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News

Boyé, a popular singer whose videos have been viewed by millions, reminded the students that each of them is as unique as their own fingerprints, and that uniqueness is something to be celebrated.

Boyé also emphasized that each person has within them an inherent value that cannot be diminished. To illustrate, he borrowed a $20 bill from a student on the front row, then told an anecdotal story wherein he spit on the money, wadded it up, stomped on it and otherwise mistreated it. Even so, Boyé said the unnamed kid to whom he had offered to give the money still willingly accepted it without hesitation.

When he asked the boy why he still wanted the bill, despite its condition, Boyé said the kid replied, “Duh! It’s a $20 bill!”

In much the same way, Boyé noted, the value of a person cannot be taken away.

Boyé admonished the students to not be afraid to turn to each other for support.

“Every single one of us in this room is struggling with something,” he said, adding that it’s often hard to know what others are going through.

“Remember, you are a 10,” he said. “Your neighbor is also a 10.”

Entertainer Alex Boyé poses for photos with students following a lunchtime assembly at Pine View High School, St. George, Utah, Sept. 28, 2018 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News

Boyé said he especially liked seeing a message written on the electronic marquee in front of the school, which read, “It’s a great day to be a Panther.”

“Internalize that,” he told the students. “It is a great day to be a Panther. Every day is a great day to be a Panther. Every day is a great day to be a human being. Every day is a great day to be a friend.”

At the end of his presentation, Boyé showed the audience the recently released video of his new song “Bend Not Break,” which carries a message of suicide awareness and prevention.

After the assembly, Boyé told St. George News he wrote the song in about one hour after having a flash of inspiration, and that it has already had a powerful effect on himself and many others.

Many Herriman High School students appear in the video, Boyé said, noting that he had asked for the student body’s help after learning that the Salt Lake area school had lost several students to suicide over the past school year.

“We can’t save everyone,” he said. “But we can save someone. And there are many someones out there who need our help.”

Boyé told the Pine View students he would be participating in the “Out of the Darkness” walk scheduled for Saturday at Washington’s Highland Park (see details below). He promised to sing “Bend Not Break” at the event and invited students to join the walk to show their support for the cause. Organizers said more than 400 people have already registered for the event.

After the assembly ended, Boyé spent another half hour chatting with Pine View students, posing for photos, shaking hands and giving hugs. Sophomore Kortlen Sullivan, the student whose money Boyé had borrowed during the assembly, even had Boyé autograph the $20 bill.

Reaction from the students was highly positive, with administrators and staff members also expressing their appreciation for Boyé’s visit.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, immediately call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which is available 24/7, at 800-273-8255. There are also suicide prevention classes and resources available in St. George through the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Event details

  • What: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s “Out of the Darkness Walk” to raise suicide awareness.
  • When: Saturday, Sept. 29, 10 a.m. to noon. Registration begins at 9 a.m.  
  • Where: Highland Park, 1250 Highland Parkway, Washington, Utah.
  • Details: Event is designed to raise funds and support for suicide awareness and prevention efforts. Click here for more information.

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Email: jrichards@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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6 Comments

  • commonsense September 28, 2018 at 8:26 pm

    Mental illness including suicide is becoming more prevalent, acute and pervasive amongst teen and young adults.

    What societal changes drive this trend? Educators and parents need to look deep.
    Suicide was rare in my youth. Gender dysmorphia was not even an option. Expectations were high and conformity was prioritized.

    • comments September 28, 2018 at 10:01 pm

      Cell phones, internet, social media, the absolutely pornified and narcissistic modern media culture–none of this existed in your youth or mine. People don’t even know what things like smart phone addiction are going to do to people over the long run. All of it is unprecedented, Life was a lot simpler before all this social media garbage. You need to rack your brain and find some twisted way to blame “THE LIBRULS”. This is what you do best. Cheers buddy 😉

      • KR567 September 29, 2018 at 6:58 pm

        and yet you take the time to use this social media to post a comment . LOL. !

    • ladybugavenger September 29, 2018 at 6:11 pm

      Gender dysmorphia is optional. Expectations are low.

      No child left behind. You fail but you still pass.

      Everyone gets an award (so why try, again, low expectation)

      Discipline has been defined as abuse because the mindset is-“I should be able to do what I want”

      Children have been given more power than their parents

      I’m sure you can add on to the list

  • Dolly September 29, 2018 at 6:35 pm

    Alex Boye’ did a wonderful thing for the students at Pine View. Very inspiring and thoughtful. Now if only he’d do something about those baggy pants. Sorry, it’s just my opinion, but I find them very silly and distracting.

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