SEDALIA, Mo. — A teenager in Sedalia took her life Saturday, and her father said it’s due to a lack of preventive bullying measures at the Sedalia School District.
Riley Garrigus, 16, died Saturday after allegedly being bullied at school over a long period of time.
Riley’s father, Ralph, sees a pattern. He told ABC 17 News that this is the fifth suicide to occur within the district in just two years.
Riley’s father, along with friends and family, have planned a peaceful protest to bring put a spotlight on bullying within the school district they allege are systematic.
Students and staff will join Riley’s friends and family to remember her life and to voice opposition and disconcern over the school’s bullying policies.
The district said that new anti-bullying policies will be in place by 2018.
2018 is too late for Riley.
District officials in a statement Wednesday acknowledged the protest and said that district officials will be in attendance “to maintain a peaceful and productive gathering.”
There will be a designated spot for supporters of Riley’s family and opponents of the Sedalia 200 School District’s policies to gather.
Mr. Garrigus said that justice has to be served in some way and that bullying must be prevented in the future.
The protest will get underway on the campus of Smith-Cotton High School in Sedalia beginning at 1:00 p.m. Thursday.