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Penn High School students hold vigil to mourn for classmate

MISHAWAKA, Ind.--Penn High School students are mourning the loss of a classmate. Fellow students and friends of 17-year-old Gavin Grimes gathered for a vigil in his honor Friday night.
Friends describe 17-year-old Gavin Grimes as a popular, happy-go-lucky and never without a smile on his face.

“It’s very important for teenagers not to be quiet bystanders, so if they see another peer being bullied, instead of keeping quiet, they should help that person and should talk to the teachers about it.,” child and adolescent psychiatrist Vincente Gonzaga said.

It could prevent another vigil like this one, where teens are forced to mourn the sudden loss of a classmate and friend who had a whole life ahead of him.

"He always had the brightest smile on his face and no one ever knew when he was depressed so nobody ever had that chance so I just want to say that I'm really sorry that this happened and I couldn't have been there for him," Majors said. 

Students said they organized Friday night's vigil in order to honor Gavin's bright personality and to come together as a student body and bring awareness to the bullying they say is happening in Penn High School.

“I’m sure there’s not one student at Penn or even in our junior class even that didn’t know him. He was always happy and go lucky you never saw him frowning,” Penn High School student Cody Majors said.

“Gavin was the friendliest person you’d ever know. There wasn’t a day or a moment that he didn’t have a smile on his face,” Penn High School student Lyric Chadwell said.

Friends said he was bullied at school, but never showed signs that it bothered him until Wednesday when he took his own life.

“That’s what makes this so shocking because he never gave out a sign that he was sad or depressed because when you think of Gavin Grimes you think of that happy go lucky guy,” Majors said.

It's a tragic ending to a situation all too familiar to Gonzaga.

“Bullying was present in the past, so what is different now is the access to technology,” Gonzaga said.

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