- Associated Press - Sunday, October 23, 2016

MUNDELEIN, Ill. (AP) - The family of a 14-year-old Illinois high school student who killed herself last year is suing the local school district, arguing that it neglected to follow protocols that could have prevented the teenager’s death.

The lawsuit accuses Mundelein High School District 120 of not having an up-to-date suicide prevention policy at the time of Mikyla Wren’s death in October 2015, as was required by a new state law. The girl’s family is not seeking monetary damages in the lawsuit.

“We just want the school to do what they’re required to,” said her father, Thomas Hannigan.

A district spokesman said the superintendent had not seen a copy of the lawsuit and could not comment. The lawsuit was filed Monday.

According to the lawsuit, the girl’s mother asked for an immediate risk assessment from the school social work department after receiving notice from the dean that her daughter used the word “suicide” on her school-issued laptop. The teenager wasn’t seen by her counselor until six days after the request, and she took her life five days later, the suit alleges.

Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a law in August 2015, called Ann Marie’s Law, mandating that all Illinois public schools provide age-appropriate suicide and depression awareness. The law also requires prevention education programs for students in kindergarten through high school.

The Mundelein High School district did not have its updated suicide awareness and prevention plan in place before the 2015-16 academic year, as required by the law, according to the lawsuit.

“This is the postcard example of why this law was enacted in the first place,” attorney Steven Glink said. “The schools are with these kids eight hours a day. Mom did what she could, but she was completely in the dark.”


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