Second Skyline Student to Die in Last Two Months


Melanie Barry, Staff Writer

The second victim in six weeks passed away on Sunday due to a drug overdose – the same overdose of the first victim: opiates laced with fentanyl. Experts say fentanyl is thirty to fifty times stronger than pure heroin, and it is entering Issaquah’s schools.

The Issaquah School District understands that opiate abuse among their students has become a crisis and are doing what they can to ease the community with this statement: “Our hearts ache for our students and school communities that have been and continue to be impacted by the devastating effects of opiates.  Not only are we passionate about the educational success of our students, but we care deeply for their health and well-being.  We have invested in additional counselors and Swedish Hospital mental health specialists in every secondary school. More than two weeks ago we reached out to the City of Sammamish to discuss the impact of opiates and the role of law enforcement in our schools and community.  We intend to engage similarly with all our city partners.  Last week during the Board retreat, we had a strategic discussion about the crisis in our community with illegal drug abuse.  Yet we know that talking about it is not enough.”

During a Skyline soccer game on Tuesday night, the school’s football team came onto the field to honor the newest victim, Tom Beatty, who was a member. Lucas Beirer, a junior, passed away just six weeks before, and the game was held in Beirer and Beatty’s honor.

Meg Barlament, one of the many parents who wants answers, helped organize the moving moment of silence. Barlament said, “In the last six weeks, two boys in the junior class have passed away. [Opiates are] being laced with fentanyl and these kids, they’re dying. The lucky ones who make it to the hospital and aren’t dying? It’s just gonna happen again. Even after this happened, there’s still kids doing it because they’re stressed and it’s their release. They don’t think it will happen to them but my message is: it will.”