SEDALIA, Mo- A teen in Sedalia took her life over the weekend, and now, her friends and family are protesting.
Her relatives say the walkout protest at Smith-Cotton High School was in response to the district's handling of bullying at the school, which is the reason the 16-year-old Rily Garrigus, took her own life.
Her father, Ralph, says the district has seen five deaths in the past two years because of bullying. He's urging the district to make access to mental health and bullying prevention a priority.
"It's easy for me (to come here) because I'm doing this for my daughter. I get my strength and push ahead from her," says Ralph.
School officials say new anti-bullying policies will be put into place in 2018.
Mental health experts say while bullying and suicide are closely related, it's not proven that bullying is a direct cause of suicide.
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