SEDALIA, Mo. — Friends, family and community members will gather Thursday in Sedalia to remember the life of a 16-year old young woman who took her own life after she was allegedly bullied at school over a long period of time.

Riley Garrigus

Riley Garrigus was a student at Smith-Cotton High School in Sedalia. She committed suicide Saturday.

Riley’s father, Ralph, has organized a protest Tuesday in front of the school to remember Riley, celebrate her life and express his concern and anger over the district’s policies, which he alleges show a systematic failure.

Mr. Garrigus said that five teens have died in Sedalia in the last two years, all under circumstances similar to Riley’s.

The school district in a statement said they are working to address the issues, and policy changes were already planned to take effect in 2018. That could now be moved up.

Protesters, along with District officials, will gather in front of Smith-Cotton High School to send a message to the administration at the school and in the Sedalia 200 School District that they want change.

Those district officials will be on hand “to maintain a peaceful and productive gathering.”

That protest and memorial will get underway at 1:00 p.m. Thursday.