YUCAIPA, Calif. – A 13-year-old Southern California girl who has reportedly died after being taken off life support was bullied, her mother said.
“My daughter is a victim of bullying … the world lost a treasure,” Charlene Avila wrote on a GoFundMe page after the death of her child, Rosalie Avila, an eighth grader at Mesa View Middle School in Yucaipa.
The family is now trying to raise money to cover funeral and medical expenses.
Multiple local news stations spoke to the Avila family, who said the girl was found hanging in her bedroom last week and taken off life support several days later. One family member alleged the school district was aware the girl had been bullied for years.
The family says Rosalie’s death hasn’t deterred her tormentors, who have now turned on them. According to KCBS, someone sent Avila’s parents an image on social media that read, “Hey mom. Next time don’t tuck me in this,” with a photo of a bed, “Tuck me in THIS,” with an edited image of Rosalie’s face pasted over someone pointing to an open grave.
Last week, the Yucaipa-Calimesa Joint Unified School District announced Rosalie’s death in a news release, saying it was saddened by her passing.
“No one can fathom the heartbreak and confusion that we are certain many of our students and their families are feeling right now, especially the families of those students that have been most closely struck by this event,” the Dec. 1 statement read.
The school district has placed a link to suicide prevention information on its website, and crisis counselors have been sent to schools.
A candlelight vigil was held on the campus on the night of Dec. 1.
The teenager was described as smart, loving and an artist on the GoFundMe page.
“Her smile would light up the whole room with her laughter. She’s very smart and always had good grades,” the GoFundMe page said. “She’s loved by so many people & by her family. She was daddy’s girl and mommy’s princess.”
The page had raised more than $27,000 by Monday.