A former teacher of Madison Holleran, the popular Univesity of Pennsylvanian track star who committed suicide in January has begun a petition that would force universities to become more proactive in an effort to stem similar tragedies in the future.
Since the 19 year old jumped to her death, her former teacher, Edward Modica, 64, who was Madison’s fifth-grade teacher at Brookside School in Allendale, New Jersey has told there has been a void in his heart, contending that he has become embittered by the girl’s lack of recourse in dealing with the pressures of college life.
The online petition which Modica posted, ‘Passage of the Madison Holleran Law’ on MoveOn.org calls for colleges to accurately list the numbers of suicides and attempted suicides on their campuses annually and new laws requiring that they provide certified suicide prevention personnel counselors to help potential victims.
Contemplated Edward Modica: ‘It seems, unfortunately, that suicides have become a regular occurrence on campuses,’
‘This would allow parents to know what’s going on and the parents could delve into those issues before school begins.’
At the time of Madison Holleran’s death, her father James had told that he believed his daughter killed herself because she was overwhelmed with schoolwork and maintaining the guise of perfection at the school which demands excellence from its alumni.
Prior to her suicide, Madison had had told her parents that she was feeling suicidal and was seeing a therapist.
‘We knew she needed help,’ told the father at the time, ‘She knew she needed help. She had lost confidence in academics and she also lost confidence in her track abilities.’
Since his daughter’s death, James Madison told he did not blame the school but that said sought to be open and warn other parents.
Reiterated family friend Bob Weckworth at the time:
‘People talked to her within hours of her act of suicide and there were no red flags, warning signs, nothing,’
Family friend Bob Weckworth said the high-achiever ultimately couldn’t cope with the expectations she’d set herself.
‘People talked to her within hours of her act of suicide and there were no red flags, warning signs, nothing,’ he told the Daily News.
‘This kid didn’t have a boyfriend. There were no drug issues. There were no mental health issues in her background. It was just the last two, three weeks where they saw a change in her. Something snapped.
‘She got a 3.5 her first semester, and I think just the high expectations that she put on herself was that that’s just not acceptable.’
At the time of Madison Holleran’s death there had been great debate as to whether she had been suffering from depression and mental illness and if whether the school had unwittingly served to exacerbate the young woman’s sense of inertia…
As of this afternoon the petition has 3500 signatures.