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After Indiana teens death, high school students walkout for mental health awareness

More than 100 other students rallied outside the school earlier in the week to talk about mental health and bullying.

AVON, Ind. — The death of a 13-year-old middle school student in Avon has a served as a rallying moment for students in town.

Livia Edens died earlier this week.

“It was like a reality checking for all students in every school,” said Naika Vernick, a senior at Avon High School.

Vernick didn’t know Edens personally, but like many other students, the situation hit home.

“It is a problem, a very big problem I think,” Isabelle Medjeski said.

Vernick and Medjeski, decided they wanted to organize a student walk out Friday at Avon High School. More than 100 other students joined them and rallied outside to talk about mental health and bullying.

“We wanted to let them know that no matter who you are and what you’re going through… somebody is here to listen,” Kendal Bettis said.

Students said they want school administrators to do more to offer resources to students who are in difficult situations.

“I think it is hard for the schools to address those issues, but I think it’s really important that they do,” Medjeski said.

Some students said they weren’t sure if disciplinary action could be possible for the walk out.

Credit: Edens Family
More than 100 students walked out of school to raise awareness to mental health and bullying.

Avon administrators didn’t say if students could face repercussions, but released a statement Saturday:

On Friday, Oct. 9, a group of Avon High School students walked out of the school during the school day. This was not sanctioned by school administrators. During this time, the students were supervised, remained on school property, and were peaceful and calm.

We appreciate our students expressing their voices and will continue to value their input to improve mental wellness supports in our community in a positive way.

"We were worried and we were scared, but we said you know we were going to do it and whatever the out happens, it happens,” Vernick said. “I wanted something to be done and that mental health is important and that you didn’t have to feel alone and taking your own life - there is other opportunities, there are other ways to get help.”

A memorial service is scheduled for Livia Edens for Sunday, Oct. 11 at 3 p.m. at the Avon Wedding Barn on 7424 E County Road 100 N.

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