YUCAIPA, Calif. — The family of a 13-year-old girl who took her own life after being bullied has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the school district, saying officials didn’t do enough to help her.
KTLA reports that Rosalie Avila attempted to take her own life by hanging herself in her bedroom on Nov. 28. She was later declared brain-dead on Dec. 1 and was taken off life support Dec. 4.
She was an eighth grader at Mesa View Middle School.
Rosalie’s family said she’d been relentlessly bullied for years, and hanged herself after the bullies told her “she had ugly teeth, that she was ugly, a whore, a slut, and had sexually transmitted diseases.”
Her classmates also allegedly circulated a video depicting “what an ugly girl looked like and what a pretty girl looked like and used a picture of Rosalie to portray the ugly girl. In her suicide note, Rosalie apologized to her parents for being ugly.”
Even after her death, the alleged bullies are still posting about her on social media, according to her parents. One post states: “Rosie is still annoying me from the grave.”
The family’s lawyer, Brian Claypool, says Rosalie’s family repeatedly contacted the school district about the bullying and also told school administrators she’d begun to cut herself. Claypool alleges the school ignored the problem because they lose state and federal funding if they have to kick a student out.
The school district issued a press release Monday, saying the school community is mourning.
“We strive every day to be a safe, supportive and engaging learning environment,” the release states. “We will continue to raise awareness and work with students and the community to support our children. The issue of suicide awareness and prevention is very important to discuss and address as a community.”
Claypool plans to introduce Rosie’s Law, which would call for school districts to require written reports of all bullying incidents, notify parents and treat bullying like it would physical abuse.