A 13-year-old California girl died on Friday after she committed suicide after she suffered years of bullying, her family said.
Rosalie Avila, an eight grader at Mesa View Middle School in Yucaipa, California, was taken off life support on Friday after she attempted to kill herself on November 28. Her organs will be donated.
"My daughter had the whole world," said her father, Freddie Avila, to NBC Los Angeles. "Now, I just have to think about what she could have done or what she could have become. Now it's just a memory.”
Freddie found his daughter after she had taken her life, he said.
"I woke up and there was screaming," he said. "I had to find my daughter...in her room.”
KTLA reported that she apparently died due to asphyxiation by hanging.
After Avila’s suicide, her parents found a journal in which the girl detailed the bullying she received by her peers.
"'They told me I was ugly today,’" said Freddie Avila, quoting some of the journal’s contents to CBS News. "'They were making fun of me today about my teeth.'"
Freddie Avila said that after his daughter’s suicide, he and his wife received a hateful anonymous message that included pictures of Rosalie. “Don’t tuck me in this,” the message said, referring to a bed, “tuck me in THIS.” An arrow followed the text, pointing to a grave.
"For you to do that, I mean, you're heartless,” said Rosalie’s mother, Charlene Avila. “You're a very heartless person, and you have no compassion.”
Rosalie, an excellent student who loved making art, wanted to become a lawyer.
Her school responded to her death with a statement on its website.
"No one can fathom the heartbreak and confusion that we are certain many of our students and families are feeling right now," the message said. "Crisis counselors and intervention teams will be available and supporting our students throughout the district in the upcoming days.”
The school’s statement does not mention bullying, or punishment for Rosalie’s alleged bullies.
The school held a candlelight vigil for Rosalie on December 1, the day Rosalie was taken off life support.
Rosalie’s parents have given her journal to the police, and are encouraging the school district to take action against their daughter’s alleged bullies.
"I did everything I'm supposed to do as a father, and these people did not respond, because those bullies are still at the school," said Freddie to CBS. "They're still there, and my daughter's gone."
Rosalie’s parents set up a GoFundMe account to raise money for their daughter’s funeral and medical expenses. At press time, the campaign had raised more than $25,500 for the Avila family.
"It's not right to bully other kids," her aunt, Sandra Zebaneh said to one news outlet. "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."
If you are considering self-harm, or just need someone to talk to, The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 is free and confidential. You can also text their Crisis Text Line at 741-741.
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