The horrible impact of bullying in any form can cause a lasting impact and a feeling of isolation. In Texas City, Texas earlier this week, 18-year-old Brandy Vela committed suicide because of taunting cyberbullies that used social media as their weapon of choice.
Now, the family is asking for America’s help to find out who is responsible for it but no one has come forward and the young girl is still receiving horrible messages after her death.
At the time of the young girl’s suicide two weeks ago, Vela was a senior at Texas City High School.
The father of the student told CNN, “Two days after her funeral, somebody opened up a social media page in her name.”
“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,” the father added.
Another social media post described by Vela visually depicts Brandy smiling with the words “my face when you shoot yourself in front of your family.”
And, another according to CNN, showcases a stick figure holding a gun with the words, “oops am I dead?”
— Rucks Russell (@ruckskhou) December 13, 2016
After Brandy’s death, Vela has also become a victim of cyberbullying.
He said to CNN, “People were putting comments about me saying that I should have done something different, so I blocked it all. I’m not reading it anymore.”
The unfortunate part of it, is that, “They’re still harassing her, but she’s no longer with us, so it’s more like they’re harassing me and my family.”
Police have told the Velas that they’ll be able to trace the posts, and the culprits will be prosecuted, but that has not happened yet.
Vela was a senior at Texas City High School who first began experiencing the aggressive harassment slightly over a year ago, when someone located her picture, Brandy’s father, Raul Vela told Kiii tv, a southern Texas station.
The father of the teen continued to explain, the culprits behind the hateful language and put downs, continually posted nasty things and “Set up an account saying (Brandy) was actually soliciting sex.”
After that, the internet harassment started turning into phone calls, an experience that left the girl with a series of sleepless nights. “Sometimes she wouldn’t sleep. She’d call me at night. She’d say ‘Dad, I can’t sleep. My phone keeps ringing.’”
As the situation escalated, so did the uneasiness in Brandy’s heart.
Earlier this week, Brandy sent a Suicide message via email to her family. In response, they came home immediately and found the young girl with a gun in her hand.
Moments later, the family arrived at the house with Brandy in front of them, begging and pleading with the teen to put the gun down.
But, the dad said, it seemed like his daughter was determined to go through with it and asked the woman to turn around, before Brandy shot herself.
He stated that, “It’s hard when your daughter tells you to turn around. You feel helpless.”
The young girl’s organs have been donated and the police are investigating Brandy’s case as a cyberbullying crime.
If someone you know is feeling helpless due to cyberbullying or bullying reach out to National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at the following number: 1-800-273-8255.