Teacher Writes 130 Letters To Her Students. The Reason Why Will Bring Tears To Your Eyes.

English teacher Brittni Darras had a special gift for each of her students at Rampart High School after they finished finals this week: a personalized, handwritten thank you note.

She hadn't been planning to write them, but then something powerful occurred during parent teacher conferences.

A mother of a student who'd been absent for a few weeks came in carrying a list of teachers' names. Next to each teacher's name was the word "yes" or the word "no."

"She had asked her daughter if she felt comfortable sharing the story and sharing why she'd been absent. That was the 'yes' and the 'no.' Teachers that you can tell, and teachers that you probably shouldn't say something to," Darras said. "My name had a “yes” next to it, so she proceeded to explain to me the reason for her daughter’s extended absence."

The student's mother told Darras that police had stopped her daughter in the act of committing suicide. Police had received a tip through the Safe2Tell app that the student had deleted all of her social media accounts and even left goodbye letters.

"We were both in tears, and it just made me realize that something needs to be done to make these kids realize that they're special," Darras said.

She asked the mother for permission to write a personalized letter to her daughter and she agreed. Darras said it was the girl's reaction that motivated her take things further.

"She couldn't believe that somebody would say such kind things about her and that she honestly thought that if she was gone...that it wasn't going to make a difference," Darras said.

So, Darras went to work handwriting personal letters to all 130 of her students. She even put off grading essays to get it all done in time.

Bree Wuthier was one of the students who got a letter after finishing finals. Darras' message starts, "Bree, you are the student I brag about to all of my friends."

"I was just first of all surprised by how much she wrote," Wuthier said. "Usually when people write letters, it's like one or two sentences, like either 'Happy Birthday,' or 'Merry Christmas,' or 'I hope you're doing fine.'"

At the time, Darras didn't tell her students why she'd written the letters. Instead she wrote a Facebook post with the back story. Her post went viral.

Her story on Facebook:

    "Two months ago was the first time I cried during parent/teacher conferences. A mom of a student who I have taught for two years showed up at my table with a list of her daughter’s teachers. Each one had “yes” or “no” written next to it. My name had a “yes” next to it, so she proceeded to explain to me the reason for her daughter’s extended absence. Her daughter- a friendly, intelligent, beautiful, driven, young woman- not only planned to commit suicide, but was in the act of doing so when the police got a Safe 2 Tell report, broke in, and stopped her. She had deleted her social media accounts and left goodbye letters; she was ready to leave the world. As her mom sat across from me, we both had tears streaming down our faces. Feeling helpless, I asked if I could write my student a letter to be delivered to her at the hospital; she said her daughter would love that. My student got the letter; her mom said that her daughter cried, turned to her mom and said, 'How could somebody say such nice things about me? I didn’t think anybody would miss me if I was gone.' It made me realize that I was way too close to losing another student to suicide. I spent the next 2 months writing cards to every one of my students- over 100 of them- telling each one what is special and unique about them. Suicide is growing to be more and more common, and I can’t help but to think that it’s a direct result of the pressure we put on these kids- to be successful, to fit in, to be the best in their class/sport/etc. We need to remember that each human being is unique, and that is what makes them special. Instead of trying to change it, we need to embrace it, because together, we can make a difference, and we can save lives!"

Wuthier said Ms. Darras' words showed how intimately she knows each of her students.

"It was just incredible. She has such an eye, like to see things and to actually listen to her students," Wuthier said.

Darras' post has been shared more than 188,595 times. She's received messages of encouragement and support from friends and strangers all across the country. Her story serves as proof that a pen, paper, and some genuine words of kindness can still be powerful.

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