MamaCheshire (cheshire23) wrote in little_details,

"Suspicion" of suicidal behavior; costs of class trip abroad in 2000?

OK, I have a character who is a high school junior around the time of the Columbine shootings, in a relatively wealthy suburban school district.

She's a good student, is not incredibly popular but has some good friends and a boyfriend, and is a bit of an oddball. She doesn't get along tremendously well with her mother or one of her younger siblings, but she has two other younger siblings she's pretty close to (father is not in the picture).

What she decidedly is NOT is suicidally depressed. However, for some reason there is a teacher who thinks she is and who reports this to a guidance counselor (and possibly to her mother as well, I haven't decided yet) and is generally oversolicitous and annoying.

She likes dark colors, but isn't a stereotypical Goth (or a stereotypical anything other than possibly "brain"). She's not deliberately going out of her way to shock anyone, mostly because she's smart enough to know that calling unnecessary attention to herself is counterproductive to what she wants out of life. So I don't want this to be an appearance-type issue - no pentacles, black fingernails, hair dyed weird colors, oddball piercings, or anything like that.

I'm thinking perhaps that she is (on her own time in a study hall) reading something that raises alarm bells, but again, nothing stereotypical - no Anarchist's Cookbook type things, and probably not The Bell Jar either. I want something that could, given current events, raise alarm bells with a somewhat paranoid teacher but specifically without it being a matter of "OMG they're persecuting me because I'm a Goth!"

EDIT: I think I'm going with the "thinks she can't afford the French class trip" route. The trip is planned for the next year. In 2000, about how much would a student be expected to pay for a one-week trip to Europe as part of a language class, and what sorts of fundraising would be available, and how much "spending money" would kids from a relatively well-off background take along with them? I want her to be able to go in the end, but for it to be an ongoing worry for her as to whether or not she can "afford" to go.
Tags: ~economics (misc), ~suicide

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