Teen who shot herself in front of her parents is still being bullied


(CNN)Raul Vela, who watched his daughter die two weeks ago, doesn’t want peace or quiet. He wants action.

Brandy Vela, 18, shot herself in front of her parents after being relentlessly cyberbullied. The Texas teen, who was described by her school as well-liked and friendly, was buried December 7. By Friday, someone had opened a social media page in her memory, but it was quickly filled with disturbing posts about her; the cyberbullying literally following her to the grave.
    Her father is fighting back.
    “The continued harassment reported by Mr. Vela is being investigated,” Texas City police Capt. Joe Stanton said. “We currently do not have any suspects or persons of interest identified.”

    The harassment continues

    “Two days after her funeral, somebody opened up a social media page in her name,” Vela said, “and people thought the family did it, so it started with people putting sincere condolences. After a few minutes, either four people or the same person posting four times said some things harassing Brandy about being a big fat cow, writing ‘you finally did it’ with a picture of a gun, writing ‘you’re a coward,’ ‘you should have done this a long time ago,’ some really horrific things.”
    He met with local legislators and community representatives and says they came up with good ideas, such as providing specialized counseling and mental health support at schools for victims like his daughter.
    “Right now, my job is to raise awareness. I’m not trying to blame people or point fingers. I want people who are still being bullied to know that I want to change things. I feel like she put this in my hands to try and get help for people in the same situation. It’s unfortunate that something tragic has to happen to make changes come,” Vela said.
    He said he wants every police department in the nation to have at least one officer trained to pursue cyberbullying crimes. He called Brandy’s death a murder, saying she was pushed to the breaking point.
    “I feel like these people are cowards, these people hiding behind the texts and fake pages. They’re the ones who pushed her to this point. She lost all her self-esteem, lost all her self-worth,” he said.

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/14/health/teen-suicide-cyberbullying-continues-trnd/index.html

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