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Parents of Annapolis High student who committed suicide wants to know what leaders knew and when

Parents of Annapolis High student who committed suicide wants to know what leaders knew and when
Parents of Annapolis High student who committed suicide wants to know what leaders knew and when 02:46
Andres Gutierrez/CBS Detroit

DEARBORN HEIGHTS, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) – Parents in Dearborn Heights will ask the school board Wednesday evening to set aside money to offer students more mental health resources.

This request comes as the parents of Annapolis High School student Selena Perez have hired an attorney to learn what administrators knew before their daughter committed suicide in May.

"She had a warm heart and a wonderful soul," May Renick, Selena's mother, said.

For Selena's family, there are many questions about what motivated the 14-year-old to take her own life on May 1.

They think her principal, Aaron Mollett, could shed some light.

"I want to know if he could have so I prevented this if there was any communication between him and Selena because Selena did trust him a lot. And if she had gone to him and said something and he didn't notify us, I want to know about that. That's what I'm trying to find out," Renick said.

Earlier that day, her mother received a call from Mollett letting her know that Selena had gotten in trouble over flipping bottles. 

But then, about half an hour after she passed away, they say Mollett and the district's superintendent Tyrone Weeks showed up at Selena's home.

"I do remember the conversation we had, and I went outside, and he said–we were on the porch–and he said, 'yeah, you know, I talked to her earlier, and I asked her, were you on anything?' And I said, 'Wait, you didn't tell me that when you called me this afternoon at three.' And he chalked it up and said, 'No, no, that's not what I said. I didn't say that, and so, like, I was in shock," Renick said.

Mollett is on paid administrative leave, as is Weeks, while the district conducts an investigation.

"Based on what we know so far, which isn't everything. Things don't add up. There's certainly gaps in the story in the narrative that we need to answer," Ali Koussan, the attorney representing the Renick family, said.  

Dearborn Heights police told CBS News Detroit on Wednesday there is an active criminal investigation into a school official but wouldn't say exactly who.

"We're not looking to implicate anybody at this time. We want answers, and that will be the next step. Should it be warranted? Given the information, we need to know what's happened. We need to know the history here," Koussan said. 

As the investigation plays out, supporters of Mollett believe the district could do more should do more to address students' mental health.

"Our schools are in need of some sort of crisis management in place, along with resources and education on both the student's and teacher's part. And there should be a budget allocated for that. It shouldn't be a small piece of the puzzle. It should be a large one," Tiffany Perez, a Dearborn Heights parent, said. 

In the meantime, in a statement to parents, the school board president said, "The situation is highly-sensitive, and any further information will be shared once the investigation is complete."

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