ST. LOUIS (KTVI) — A Missouri 12-year-old who realized something was wrong while talking to a boy he met online stepped up to try and save his life.
CJ Thomas of Wentzville Middle School in St. Louis was online when another preteen he became acquainted with through an online coding website said he was thinking of taking his own life.
“He made a post and he started saying stuff about how he wanted to harm himself on there. I didn’t know if he was joking around, so I thought that I should at least try to help him or see what’s going on,” said CJ.
CJ was able to find out where the boy, who lives in Georgia, went to school, and he eventually tracked down the school counselor and sent an email with the little information he had.
“I asked him where he lived and how old he was,” said CJ. “I had to look online to find the school he went to in that region. I just wanted to make sure that he wouldn’t be hurt and his family would not have to feel guilt or pain.”
CJ’s mom said her seventh-grader has always been a kind kid with a big heart.
“He acted like it was just a normal day in a life of CJ — helping somebody out doesn’t matter if you know them or not — and went about his day,” his mom said.
At school, CJ was being praised for practicing compassion and thinking fast.
“We are so very proud of CJ,” said Wentzville School District superintendent Dr. Curtis Cain. “What he did and how he did it is exactly what we would hope for. He did the right thing, he did the appropriate thing. We may never know if he saved a life, but he leaned into his instinct, which was to take action and to do something. That is the biggest takeaway.”
If you’re struggling and need someone to talk to, you can call the national suicide prevention lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.