The relationship between bullying and suicide is a serious nationwide problem. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the suicide rate among 10- to 14-year-olds doubled between 2007 and 2014.
On Tuesday, November 28, 13-year-old, Rosalie Avila, took her own life after being bullied by her middle school peers for two years. It was Avila's father who woke up to screaming in the middle of the night and found her hanging in her room. Rosalie was rushed to Loma Linda Children’s Hospital in critical condition, where she was put on life support.
“Even though she smiled she was really struggling with people being mean to her,” explained Rosalie’s mother, Charlene Avila.
The teen had left a letter apologizing to her family where she also referred to herself as a “loser” and “ugly.” Her father, Freddie Avila, had recalled her mentioning being teased for her braces. In tears he said, “and now I gotta just think about what she could have done or what she could have become.” He said he noticed a change in her last months and remember she kept a journal documenting the names of the people who would bully her.
Avila was described by her family as a loving individual who always got good grades and had dreams of becoming a lawyer to make the world a better place.
On Friday, her family made the difficult decision to take her off life support. That night a vigil was held at Mesa View Middle School in Yucapia, California. The school did not provide any details over any bullying incidents but they did release a statement saying, “It is with great sadness that we send this message to share that one of our young Mesa View Mustang students has passed away. No one can fathom the heartbreak and confusion that we are certain many of our students and families are feeling right now.”
Rosalie’s family told NBC 4 News “It's not right to call them names, not right to make fun of what they are wearing. It's horrible. Please stop the bullying.” Her family decided to donate her organs and they started a GoFundMe page to help cover funeral costs.