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Mundelein family claims HS did not do enough to help prevent teen's suicide

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The parents of a teenager who took her own life say their daughter's high school did not follow proper protocol under a new law designed to help prevent suicide. (WLS)

The family of a Mundelein High School student who took her own life filed a lawsuit against the school, claiming it did not take steps that could have prevented her death.

Miklya Wren, 14, committed suicide last October. Her family is not seeking money from Mundelein High School District 120. Instead, they said they want to make sure similar tragedies don't happen to another family.

Mikyla started her freshman year in August 2015, the same month a law was enacted requiring all Illinois school districts to have updated suicide prevention protocols in place.

But Mikyla's family said the district failed to comply with the law when the 14-year-old committed suicide last fall.

"My own personal belief is had they been done, there would have been a less likely chance Mikyla would have committed suicide," said Steven Glink, the attorney for Mikyla's family.

Her family filed a lawsuit Monday against District 120 and several school officials saying they failed to implement state-mandated protocols that could have prevented Mikyla's death.

"They want all these school districts, especially this one, to get in step. If you haven't fixed your policy, fix it," Glink said.

Glink said that is the purpose of "Ann Marie's Law," which establishes guidelines for engaging with students who show signs of being at-risk for suicide.

Glink said school officials initially raised concerns about Mikyla to her mother, saying the teen used the word suicide in one of her essays, but the lawsuit alleges there was poor follow-up.

"You're there every day with these kids and how hard is it for you to check in on them every single day? It's not hard," Glink said.

Glink said at one point, the school's website indicated the suicide prevention policy was last updated in 1999.

Experts said that teaching educators to be more aware of the warning signs is not hard.

"It's a matter of trying to educate people about some of these myths and tell about preventative things in someone's life that will help prevent a suicide," said Scott Campbell, of Samaritan Counseling Center.

District officials said Tuesday they do not make comments about pending litigation.
Related Topics:
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