When Homeschoolers Turn Violent: Darren James Price

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Series note: “When Homeschoolers Turn Violent” is a joint research project by Homeschoolers Anonymous and Homeschooling’s Invisible Children. Please see the Introduction for detailed information about the purpose and scope of the project.

Trigger warning: If you experience triggers from descriptions of physical and sexual violence, please know that the details in many of the cases are disturbing and graphic.

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Darren James Price

In June 2013, 13-year-old Darren James Price from Dowagiac, Michigan took a gun to Dowagiac Middle School, ran away after being approached by school staff, then went into the woods near the school and committed suicide.

In June 2013, 13-year-old Darren James Price from Dowagiac, Michigan entered Dowagiac Middle School with a gun and then committed suicide.

In June 2013, 13-year-old Darren James Price from Dowagiac, Michigan entered Dowagiac Middle School with a gun and then committed suicide.

Darren attended Dowagiac Middle School through 6th grade. Darren was described by a former public school principal as “very nice, polite, a good kid.” He was withdrawn from the school a year prior to his death and was homeschooled for 7th grade. Darren had an unknown number of siblings, all of whom were also withdrawn from the public school district. No reasons for withdrawal were publicized.

The night before his death, Darren stole a handgun from his family. The next morning, he entered school grounds with the gun. A custodian saw Darren with the gun and notified the school principal. After the principal approached Darren, the boy ran into the nearby woods. The school notified the police. A deputy sheriff arrived and approached the woods where the boy was hiding. After seeing the sheriff, the boy shot himself. He died shortly after in a hospital.

Despite initially approaching the school with a weapon, police remain unsure whether Darren intended to attack others prior to committing suicide. To this day Darren’s motive for committing suicide also remains a mystery. The school’s public safety director said, “I wish we had a reason.”

View the case index here.

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