Thursday, March 8, 2012

Matthew Robert Smyser, BHS 2013

Matthew Robert Smyser, BHS 2013

We are deeply saddened to report that Burbank High School officials were notified by the Los Angeles Mayor’s Crisis Response Team that BHS student, Matthew Smyser, died at his home last night. We have not yet received official notification on the cause of death. Matthew was a junior at BHS, a member of the football team, and a well-rounded student. Matthew is and always will be a valued member of the BHS student body. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time.

School and District personnel and support staff are available in the Library at BHS for students and staff who would like to reflect, grieve, and discuss their feelings about Matthew. This type of tragedy often leads to the need for parents and students to engage in thoughtful and heartfelt discussions about teen life and emotions. We have attached some material that can be very helpful for teachers and parents. Please print and review this information. We are also providing links to meaningful websites for more information, education, and support.

We all have stress and challenges in our lives and it is so important to know that we can come forward and ask for help and assistance. District personnel, school administrators, psychologists, counselors, and support staff stand ready to help in any way possible.

Respectfully, Stan A. Carrizosa, BUSD Superintendent


Burbank High School football coach Hector Valencia said Matthew, who played wide receiver and linebacker on the varsity squad, was “very popular on campus.”“He was very friendly and was polite with a great deal of character. He also had a lot of integrity,” Valencia said of the high school junior. “He was very positive and he was a kid that you could trust.” Matt had attended Village Christian School in eighth grade, and Alemany High School in ninth grade before enrolling at Burbank High School last year, according to district officials. Also his mother had been dignosed with cancer.

Coroner's officials said it was reported to them as a suicide, according to the L.A. Times, but the autopsy is pending to determine the official cause of death for Matthew Smyser, 17.

Football practice was suspended Wednesday.

Meanwhile, KTLA-TV reported that a candlelight vigil is planned for 7 p.m. tonight at the campus.


The death Tuesday night of a Burbank High School football player has been a ruled a suicide. Matthew Smyser, a 17-year-old junior, died at his home in Shadow Hills Tuesday night. Los Angeles County coroner’s officials on Thursday confirmed the official cause of death as suicide following an autopsy.

Saturday, March 10, 2012 was a public memorial service held at 2:00 pm at Villiage Christian Church on Victory Blvd., Burbank.

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