LaGrange County family grieving suicide of 14-year-old son

Published: Mar. 30, 2021 at 6:51 PM EDT
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LAGRANGE COUNTY, Ind. (WNDU) - The Leis family is trying to piece together how and why their son, Aydan, went from a comical kid to a despondent 14-year-old in just a matter of months. Aydan’s parents, Robert and Tami, say the Westview eighth-grader took his own life last Thursday.

“You know, this pain is unbearable. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone,” said Robert. “This is the worst pain I’ve ever had to deal with.”

Tami says her son’s behavior changed sometime last fall.

“He had a beautiful smile, and just in the last few months, I noticed from the pictures from our boards that he lost that,” she said.

Tami says she had wondered if Aydan was being bullied at school. When she confronted him about it, she said Aydan denied he was being bullied. The family also shared their son had a form of autism that made it difficult for him to withstand overwhelming situations. They say his therapists encouraged him to remove himself from those situations so he could process his feelings.

Nonetheless, they say Aydan had a sense of humor.

“When he was laying in his casket yesterday, that - we just kept thinking he was gonna pop up and say, ‘Just kidding, guys.’ But he was always joking around. He always had the funniest jokes,” said Tami.

The family is sharing their story in hopes it prevents other families from dealing with the same loss.

“We want to shine light on our situation to help prevent someone else from going through the the same thing,” Robert said.

On Tuesday, Westview School Corp. Superintendent Dr. Randy Miller released the following statements to 16 News Now:

Westview School Corporation wants to continue offering our deepest condolences to the Leis family with the passing of their son, Aydan, who was an 8th grader at Westview Jr. Sr. High School. We have worked with the family and Aydan for many years. We will continue to support the Leis family and their two daughters who attend school too. We appreciate the support from the community for the Leis family and our corporation.

Like all schools, Westview’s number one priority is to provide a caring and safe learning environment for all our students. Our staff, counselors, and administrative teams have done a tremendous job in helping our students through this death and will continue to do so.

We pride ourselves in valuing our family relationships, programs, and academic expectations and will continue to strive to make Westview the best place it can be.

Westview does not tolerate any form of bullying and all reported issues are thoroughly addressed and we will continue to do so. We also have an anonymous reporting portal on our website. We encourage students to always come forward to report bullying and any form of misbehavior. As a school system, we must base our actions on facts along with respecting student privacy and do what is truly best for students. Westview has never received a report of Aydan being bullied.”

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the Leis family in their time of need.

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