A California family had to say goodbye to their 13-year-old daughter over the weekend after the teenager was taken off of life support on Friday following an attempt to take her own life.
Rosalie Avila, an eighth-grader at Mesa View Middle School, reportedly took her own life after years of bullying at the hands of her peers. The Yucaipa, Calif., school mourned her death with a candlelight vigil attended by hundreds of Avila’s peers, teachers and loved ones, according to NBC San Diego.
The 13-year-old was described as a loving girl who was a great artist and always got good grades. Her dream was to become a lawyer to make the world a better place, but now that potential will never be realized.
“My daughter had the whole world,” her father, Freddie Avila, said. “Now, I just have to think about what she could have done or what she could have become. Now it’s just a memory.”
Rosalie attempted to take her own life on Nov. 28.
“I woke up and there was screaming,” he said. “I had to find my daughter … in her room.”
She was rushed to the Loma Linda Children’s Hospital in extremely critical condition and was ultimately taken off life support on Dec. 1.
Rosalie’s aunt told the news station that the school knew Rosalie was being bullied and she was also in counseling. She kept a journal detailing how she was bullied and naming those who were mean to her.
“‘They told me I was ugly today,’” her father recalled reading in the journal, CBSLA reports. “‘They were making fun of me today about my teeth.’”
The school sent out a statement expressing sympathy for the “heartbreak and confusion” over Rosalie’s death.
“No one can fathom the heartbreak and confusion that we are certain many of our students and families are feeling right now,” the statement read. “Crisis counselors and intervention teams will be available and supporting our students throughout the district in the upcoming days.”
Except it appears that at least some students don’t need crisis counselors, although they definitely need counselors of some sort because not only do the Avilas have to cope with the loss of their daughter—they apparently are now being bullied themselves.
The family has reportedly received a message on social media with photos of Rosalie stating, “Hey mom. Next time don’t tuck me in this,” with reference to a bed. “Tuck me in THIS,” the image says, featuring an arrow pointing to an open grave.
“For you to do that, I mean, you’re heartless. You’re a very heartless person, and you have no compassion,” Rosalie’s mom, Charlene, told CBSLA.
The Avilas have handed Rosalie’s journal over to the police and are pushing for the school district to do something about bullying.
“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,” Freddie said. “They’re still there, and my daughter’s gone.”