Below is a copy of my final letter to the UTAH State Board of Education: 

When I wrote a letter and received no response it accentuated my feeling of voicelessness. This feeling of having no voice is one shared by many people, especially those in the LGBTQIA community. My daughter's artwork expressed this feeling vividly in the months before her suicide. The images of beautiful dogs or wolves with their mouths bound demonstrates this feeling so vividly. 
A year later and after talking with some board members I wrote the following letter. By sharing it, I hope to offer a template for others to work to give voice to the voiceless. After sending the letter I was contacted by a few members of the Board and was invited to participate in a panel discussion session. The meeting and my conversations with Board members afterward gave me hope that they are going to take this issue seriously and will be taking steps to implement at least some of the Necessary Components. However, for change to truly happen and be effective, State and Local School Boards need continued pressure to focus on this issue and implement real action. This process requires persistence. 


Dear Members and Leadership of the Utah State Board of Education,                   July 9, 2018​​

                Although I have reached out to you before, I am trying again because I care about the children living here and know how badly they need help. My daughter Lily McClish committed suicide Jan. 26, 2017. She was 13 years old, the student of the month for her tolerance, a lesbian and an incredibly kind human being. Although I lost everything when I lost her, I feel compelled to share my insight with you.  I was teaching in the school district when Lily took her life and feel it gives me a unique perspective on critical areas which if addressed by the schools, would help so many children who are suffering and feel hopeless…hopeless enough to take their own lives.
                Each of you is in a very important position to make decisions which can address our frightening adolescent suicide rate in Utah. I hope you will take the time to read the attached Six Necessary Components and consider incorporating these into policy considerations and in accountability measures.
                I would gladly welcome the opportunity to discuss any or all of these with you in a meeting or workshop or as individuals. I am currently living out of cell service focusing on trying to heal and find a way to survive this loss. If you respond or reach out to me, please understand if my communication is delayed. The fastest way to reach me is via text message, which I am able to check once a day.
                Additionally, I want to inform you I will be sharing this letter with the media and State leadership. This is because I feel it is important to give this information to parents and citizens who care about this critical issue, so that they may support you in changing this situation.
                Finally, as my daughter expressed through her art before she took her life, I too have come to feel voiceless in Utah. This has led me to the decision to leave at the end of October. The slow pace of change is too painful for me because I know what is at risk. All of our children are our treasures – the only ‘wealth’ that matters – regardless of their identity.  If you are going to help them, you must look into your hearts and find the LOVE necessary to accept them, make them safe and create an environment in our schools which gives them hope.
Molly McClish
Sent with the attachment of the Necessary Components