AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – “Heartbroken,” that’s how the superintendent of Amherst-Pelham Regional Schools described his reaction when he heard a student died after attempting a TikTok challenge.
After just two days, a memorial fund for the family of Nate Squires reached its $25,000 goal. However, the path to healing for the Amherst community is only beginning.
“We’ve dedicated a lot of resources particularly to the middle school for obvious reasons but also the elementary school that Nate went to,” said Superintendent Michael Morris.
According to the GoFundMe posted by a family member, Nate died after attempting what is known as the “blackout challenge,” when a person will choke themselves until they are unconscious.
The GoFundMe is asking parents to talk to their children about the dangers of the trend, “We hope Nate’s story can help you start this conversation in your home.”
Hundreds of contributions to that GoFundMe and a number of people leaving messages for Nate as well as the family.
“Our community in general is incredibly supportive and I think we’ve seen that,” Morris told 22News.
The Amherst-Pelham Regional School District is partnering with Riverside Trauma Center as well as counselors from neighboring districts to offer both in-person and remote help.
“Grief is very real and to talk about and to talk about those we love. And make sure people get the support they need and support others,” Morris said.