Honor student athlete commits suicide due to COVID-19 school lockdown

A local story in Maine that chronicled the suicide of a 16-year-old high school student who was seriously depressed due to the COVID-19 lockdown of his school might have remained local.  But it was brought to national attention Wednesday on Laura Ingraham's Fox News Channel program The Ingraham Angle.  Ingraham's live video Skype interview with the dead boy's father, Jay Smith, only five days after his son's death was riveting and maddening.  This was not only because it exposed the lunacy of Democrat politicians' orders to end in-person schooling, but in light of the growing online meme that Fox News has morphed into an enemy of conservatives.

I ask anyone who has bought into this "dump Fox News" mantra to seriously consider: what other mainstream media source (yes, Fox News is mainstream media) would have touched this story?  Answer: none.


Screen shot, The Ingraham Angle, Fox News Channel Dec. 9, 2020.

Spencer Smith, 16, was an honor student at the high school in Brunswick, Maine, a town of 20,000 people on the midcoast of the state.  He was dedicated to playing football on his high school's varsity team.

According to an article at the Brunswick Press Herald about Spencer Smith on December 8:

Smith was on the Brunswick High football team and had spent all summer training for the season, WMTW reported. When he found out there wouldn't be a normal football season and it would instead be flag football, he figured that as a lineman he wouldn't be playing.

"As soon as he found out it wasn't going to be a regular football season, looking back, we noticed he stopped working out. He stopped riding his bike as much to the point he didn't even work out anymore. Instead of working out, he took naps," Jay Smith told the television station.

The Press Herald article largely took the party line in putting Spencer Smith's suicide in the context of the pre-COVID-19 rise in adolescent suicides in general — not necessarily related to the insane restrictions of the COVID-19 Plandemic.

The article did at least quote what Spencer's mother posted on Facebook:

In Facebook posts over the weekend, Angela Smith highlighted her son's recent struggles. "This remote learning is crap," she wrote in one post. "I just lost a son because he couldn't be with his friends. He was trapped in the house. He felt like he lost his friends and had a hard time with his school work. He felt he had no future. He hated what society was becoming. So he took the easy way out. Parents please take everything your kids are saying seriously. Give them a huge hug and don't let go."


Spencer Smith's father Jay on The Ingraham Angle, Dec. 9, 2020.

Laura Ingraham's eight-minute-long interview with Spencer's father Jay Smith on Wednesday provided more detail about his son's descent into serious depression as a result of not being able to attend school, learn with his teachers, interact with his peers, and play the sport he loved.

In my opinion, if anyone can watch this video without tearing up — and without giving significant credit to the much maligned of late Fox News — then there is something seriously wrong with you.

Peter Barry Chowka is a veteran journalist who writes about politics, media, popular culture, and health care for American Thinker and other publications.  He also appears in the media, including recently as a contributor to OANN and BBC World News.  Peter's website is http://peter.media.  His YouTube channel is here.  For updates on his work, follow Peter on Twitter at @pchowka.