A back to school necklace is a type of jewelry worn by students as they return to school, typically at the start of a new academic year. The design and style of the necklace can vary, but it is often intended to serve as a symbol of a student’s academic journey and their commitment to their education.
It’s common to hear about back-to-school as summer draws to a close. One activity that’s common at this time is shopping. After all, both parents and children love going to the store to buy new school clothes and accessories. Students discussing back-to-school necklaces are not talking about cute jewelry. It’s a troubling phrase that doesn’t seem to be alarming but is something you may hear in conversation or on social media. What exactly is a ‘back-to-school necklace’ or ‘back to scholl necklace’?
What exactly is a “back to school necklace”?
Urban Dictionary describes a back-to-school necklace as “another name of a noose.” This is because of the feeling of complete despair when school begins to resume.
It can be used in many ways, including: “I’m about to buy my back-to-school necklace,” “Thinking about getting a back-to-school choker,” as well as “I want to wear my back-to-school necklace,” among others.
Although a necklace that is back-to-school seems innocent to some, its true meaning is a cry for help and a code for death by hanging.
Parents will be better equipped to assist their children once they have been educated about this term.
Supporting her daughter’s mental well-being.
Beware “Back-To-School Necklaces”
How can parents discuss this trendy back-to-school necklace phrase with their children?
Samantha Westhouse, LLMSW is a psychotherapist and maternal/infant social worker. Start by asking your child, “I heard about back-to-school necklaces. Do you know anything?” She advises. “I believe that an open discussion is always beneficial. Your children should feel comfortable sharing their feelings without judgment.
It’s worth making an effort to check-in. Emily Cavaleri LLMSW, is a school social worker, child and family therapist, and school social worker. She adds that back-to-school conversations can be facilitated by sharing personal stories of how you felt about starting school each year, particularly if you experienced feelings of fear as a child. Tell them that you are there to help them deal with any emotions or seek professional help if they need it.
Why is it that students are so anxious about the start of school?
It is normal to feel a little anxious as students prepare for a new routine after the summer. Cavaleri admits that returning to school can be overwhelming for many reasons. Some students have difficulty imagining a new school, new teachers, and a new schedule. Students are moving from a relaxed and sleep-in schedule to early mornings and busier days.
These struggles can often feel overwhelming for students. According to the CDC, more than one-third of high school students experienced persistent sadness or hopelessness in 2019, a 40% increase from 2009.
Westhouse says that Westhouse believes it could be a mix of socialization and the ages. When we look back, the 13-year-olds who were locked down were only 10 years old. They were doing school online and not participating in regular clubs, sports, and socialization. Add to that mass school shootings, and you can see the impact on our world in the past few years. All of it has an impact.
What warning signs should parents be looking out for?
Cavaleri states that if someone uses this phrase, it is likely they are having trouble with their mental health. You may notice signs such as: “Whether your child is seriously considering suicide or using this phrase to cry out for help, these are signs that you might see. These include spending more time alone, being irritable, acting withdrawn and crying often, difficulty sleeping, losing interest in things they once enjoyed, giving up belongings, and generally a change of behavior.”
Cavaleri suggests that even if your child has not used this phrase, they may have it on their phones. She says that they may share it via social media or text. Parents should be alert to their children’s electronic usage. This phrase could be used by students of all ages and they may feel these emotions. So look out for any signs in your children from young children to teens.
What should students know about using or hearing the phrase “back-to-school-necklace” with friends?
Cavaleri warns that students should be aware of the seriousness of using this phrase. It is not okay to joke about hurting yourself or even killing yourself. They should not be ashamed to admit that they have these feelings and get help. Students should report to an adult if they hear or see friends using this phrase.
Westhouse concurs, saying that even though your child or teenager may be quick to dismiss it, they need to know that it is serious. I encourage you to educate your child, and if your child notices their friends using this phrase, to speak with school staff.
What resources can be used to support teenagers and children who feel overwhelmed by the thought of going back to school?
Parents can be the first support system for their children. According to the CDC, parents should “supervise their adolescents to foster healthy decision-making,” spend time with them enjoying shared activities and get involved in school by volunteering or communicating with administrators and teachers.
Westhouse also believes that schools should have the policy to assist students. According to the CDC, approximately 1 in 6 teens reported having made a suicide plan within the last year. This is 44% more than in 2009.
Cavaleri suggests that you prepare your child for school by getting organized, walking [their] schedule, sleeping well, and visiting the school/walking their schedule, to make them feel less overwhelmed.
Knowledge is power. Parents can be more aware of the issues that affect their children and teens and seek additional support. Cavaleri and Westhouse both recommend therapy, as well as the use of the 988 suicide hotline.