Southgate student's photo not in yearbook following suicide

Southgate student's photo not in yearbook following suicide

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Tyler Nichols Tyler Nichols
SOUTHGATE, Mich. (WJBK) -

A teenager's short life ended in suicide. Now his photo has been left out of his school's yearbook, and it has some people upset.

Flip through the yearbook and it's as if Tyler Nichols never went to Davidson Middle School. However, he was a part of the eighth grade class. In fact, he went to Southgate Schools all his life.

The 13-year-old took his own life inside the school this past March. The district has been helping students cope and move on, but his friends and family say erasing him from the yearbook is going too far.

I asked a classmates and friend how it makes him feel not to see Tyler's photo in the yearbook.

"Upset. Sad. He was there during the pictures, and that he's part of our school," he said.

"It's almost like they want to forget he existed, and that makes me sad," said mother Ann Nichols.

She said the school never told her that her son would not be included in the yearbook. In fact, she said a teacher mentioned the school might put together a tribute page.

"He was just such a good kid, and up until actually that morning, every day, multiple times a day, he would come up to me and hug me and tell me how much he loved me," Nichols said. "I don't want anyone to do what Tyler did ever, but I think totally suppressing them thinking about Tyler or remembering him is not good, either."

The district superintendent said the yearbook was sent off to be printed in early March before Tyler passed away, and they did not have a picture of him. However, his mother said he did take a picture that year because he had a new student identification card.

Meanwhile, the school district said that they will meet with Tyler's mother because she is the one that matters in this situation.

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UPDATE 6/5/13: The superintendent said Nichols was not at school the day pictures were taken, and that is why he was not included in the eighth grade class section.

He said there are two other candid pictures of Nichols in the book.

"Our yearbook person did everything that she could," said Bill Grusecki. "From the school district's standpoint, we didn't make any decision to omit him from anything. He was a student in our district until he made the decision he made, and we've done nothing to erase him from our records or anything like that."

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