Authorities have confirmed the tragic suicide death of a Queens, New York 12-year-old was due to the relentless bullying she was subjected to for several months beforehand from classmates.
According to Gabrielle Molina's suicide note and accounts from her sister, 15-year-old Georgia, the seventh-grader took her own life because of persistent cyber-bullying, slut-shaming, and name calling from her middle school peers. It had just become too much.
Reports indicate it was Georgia who discovered her sister Gabrielle after she'd hanged herself inside her bedroom. Georgia had been sworn to secrecy, told not to reveal the abuse to their parents, though they knew Gabrielle was having some trouble at school.
The girl was often taunted by classmates over her appearance – victimized both face-to-face and online. Fellow students at Jean Nuzzi Intermediate School 109 in Queens who sent the upsetting messages are currently under investigation as officers removed computers from the Molina home in order to have them analyzed. Several students have been questioned since the incident, but no charges have been imposed.
Associates of Gabrielle said she'd got into a fistfight with another girl that was videotaped and posted on YouTube; she had a history of cutting herself and had recently broken up with a boyfriend – providing the bullies with fodder.
Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott said that a preliminary investigation did not show any serious bullying problems at the school. How do you define a serious bullying problem? Any bullying should not be tolerated and should be considered serious as it can stem from its own environment of abuse or mental illness.
Bullying has always been a problem, especially in middle school when socialization seems to be the most difficult. Physical, emotional, and psychological threats make it difficult for an individual to get through the day and focus on their academic work. With technology pusillanimous bullies can post hate-speak and degrading taunts about a person with some anonymity. Often times there is little schools can do to protect the victim as many school officials will say unless the acts occur while on school grounds, there isn't much they can do to deter it.
Parents have addressed a call for action, demanding something more be done to protect their children from this type of victimization as daily threats and assaults can lead to depression, lessened self-esteem, eating disorders, anxiety, sleeplessness, drug and alcohol abuse, effect academic performance and overall well-being, and, in extreme cases, suicidal tendencies.
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