Pleasant Valley students spread suicide awareness through yellow shirts, ribbons

BETTENDORF, Iowa - It was in April of 2014 that Davenport West freshman Alice Schmitt committed suicide. Her friends say she was bullied. Only a few weeks later, 12-year-old Morgan Schmidt killed herself. She was only a seventh grader at Pleasant Valley Junior High.

On Friday, Sept. 23, yellow shirts and ribbons were worn by classmates at Pleasant Valley High School to bring awareness to depression, bullying and suicide.

One student remembered his friend's battle with suicidal thoughts.

"She wrote me a letter, that I didn't know she wrote, stuck it in my backpack that mom later found and my moms just like, 'You just need to be there for her,'" said Ethan Bettis.

Ethan was there for his friend through this tough time.

"Don't leave them, it might get tough but you don't have to say anything - you don't have to cuddle them, but make sure that they know that you care," said Bettis.

He took part in making a video along with other classmates and teachers who shared their stories to show students they're not alone in this battle.

"Sometimes it can be sorta the elephant in the room or they're just seeking attention. Well yeah, they are, they want to know that they're loved," said Bettis.

Students at PV were happy to see the support of the yellow ribbons and shirts around the school.

"It means that a lot of people are paying attention to what's going on and they are here to support the people who are going through it," said Jaznee Harris.