Chanting Schoolboys Help Save Suicidal Woman Hanging From Bridge

April 6, 2019 Updated: April 6, 2019

A group of California schoolboys helped save a suicidal woman when they spotted her hanging above the railway tracks, about to let go.

The Kepler School’s volleyball team had gone out for practice in Fresno on April 4, when they saw the woman attempting to jump off a bridge.

The 12 boys, from the 6th, 7th, and 8th grades, alerted their coach, and called over to the woman and begged her not to give up.

The boys’ pleas led to the woman pulling herself up to safety, according to a statement from the school.

“She was like, one hand, and feet hanging already,” Brandy Ezell, one of the boys, told ABC7.

As the boys spotted her, they ran to tell the coach, Elliot Murray, who called 911, and told the boys to go back up and yell to the woman.

A 47-year-old Fresno woman was about to commit suicide. Then a group of schoolboys began chanting "Stop, your life is worth it."

Posted by ABC7 on Friday, April 5, 2019

“I immediately told the kids, ‘Do everything you can, chant, say, ‘Stop, your life is worth it’, and they just kept on chanting,” said Murray.

One of the boys, Elijah Gomez, told the news outlet, “We went up. We were there for like 10 minutes, trying to distract her.”

The Kepler Neighborhood School students who encouraged a woman not to take her life in Fresno, California, on April 4. (Kepler Neighborhood School)

“A miracle happened! Our scholars were part of saving a life,” coach Murray said in a statement. “We pour our hearts into the lives of these kids every day and they stepped up in a way they’ll never forget. I’m so proud of them.”

“These young men stepped up when no one else could,” said Timothy Yeager, Kepler School’s Director of Student Services. “Words fail to do justice how incredibly proud we are of these Kepler scholars and Coach Elliot’s leadership.”

According to the school, authorities arrived after the woman had pulled herself to safety.

The school said that the woman had been hanging from the Stanislaus Street bridge. ABC7 reported that the boys had been on the adjacent Tuolomne Street bridge.

The Tuolomne Street bridge, pictured from the Stanislaus Street bridge in Fresno, California. (Screenshot/Googlemaps)

Authorities arrived after the woman was safe and they said she is doing okay.

“Members of the team say this is a day they will never forget and say they were thankful to be there to encourage the woman to make the right decision,” said a statement from the school.

Police confirmed to ABC7 that they had contacted a 47-year-old woman who said she was trying to commit suicide, and that she had been placed on mental health evaluation hold for 72 hours.

Members of Kepler School’s Volleyball team helped save a life. During practice Thursday afternoon, the students acted…

Posted by Kepler Neighborhood School on Friday, April 5, 2019

The power of a group chant in preventing suicide was recorded on film two years ago, when a 23-year-old man man climbed onto the northbound track bed at a Toronto station.

John Paul Attard, a veteran train employee who had already previously saved six people from suicide, enlisted the help of the whole platform of people.

Sitting down on the edge of the platform, Attard talked to the man, telling him to repeat the words “I am strong.”

Turning to the groups of passengers on each platform in turn he got them to chant “I am strong” towards the man.

The man appeared to calm down, put his arms around Attard, and the crowd clapped as police safely led him off the tracks.

Follow Simon on Twitter: @SPVeazey
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