Bullying has long since been a serious problem in schools and now another heartbreaking case has just proved that more proactive actions need to be taken to prevent it. Earlier this week, a 12-year-old Latino boy, Joel Morales, committed suicide after being tormented by bullies for years.

Morales, from East Harlem, New York, hung himself on Tuesday and was later found by his mother, Lizbeth Babilionia, in a bathtub with lacerations around his neck. The horrible tragedy occurred after Morales was reportedly mocked because he was both smart and short for his age. Relatives say that his bulliers would even tease him about his father's death, which occurred when Morales was only two years old. His grandfather told the New York Post that kids also "threw sticks at him and rocks." 

He also said that Babilonia had repeatedly made complaints to the teacher and even allowed her son to swtich schools, but the incessant bullying never stopped. After discovering her son's death, Babilonia was so devastated that she reportedly tried to cut herself with a knife but was stopped by a neighbor.

Read more ¿Qué más?: How far would you go to defend your daughter from a bully?

The whole incident is so incredibly tragic and horrible. It makes me feel sick to my stomach that a 12-year-old would even consider suicide, let alone act upon the thought. I can't even imagine what his family must be going through, particularly his mother. To realize that someone so young can feel that miserable and lost is a shocking but very real indicative of one of the major problems in school today.

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I hope that Morales' death at least forces officials and administrators to wake up and start paying more attention to the events that are going on in the hallways and classrooms of their schools. Kids need to be protected and every school needs to have much stricter policies on bullying to prevent terrible situations like Morales' from continuing to happen. 

Image via Lisbeth Babilonia/facebook

About the author

Michelle Regalado is a Staff Writer at MamásLatinas. She loves reading, travel, pop culture, and writing about anything and everything.

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I would go as far as I can go to stop someone from bullying my child or anyone from my family!! I have been so lucky so far but as a kid I used to defend my sisters and brothers all the time to the point that their bullyies feared me after a while!! I rather take that than having someone I love dead. I think there needs to be more strict laws for bullies, just because they are minors police should't look away or wait for a third offence, act upon it or act your self, I say talk to the parents talk to the school and go the extra mile, pick up your kids your self or send someone, talk to the kid that's bothering your kid your self if it's necesary this has got to stop!!! I am so sick to hear this stories, it's so so sad!!!

nonmember avatar
Also, parents need to take the time to talk to their children and teach them to respect people around them. It's very easy to point the finger at the school system, I say the bullies' parents should be prosecuted.
meta

it is the school system. we are trusting them with our kids. if the parents went to the teachers, the principle, then they are also to blame. 

bonny...

mi hijo, tambien sufre de bulling en la escuela, me la llevo hablando con los consejeros y maestros, ya hasta ha tenido pleitos con otros ninos por lo mismo, no se que hacer en realidad, todos los dias es un verdadero calvario para el, porque no quiere ir a la escuela.

nonmember avatar
I have read and re-read numerous (seemingly increasing in numbers) tragedies triggered by the brutality of our permissive (yes, be tough, talk the talk, and hurt others first is permissive parenting). Yesterday, this news left a knife in my heart; I understand mamá's instant reaction at finding her son. We carry rage, guilt, frustration for our children when no one seems responsive to the very obvious criteria that where our children a sent (compulsary education BTW)must be safe - in all ways. I have read many, many forum comments blaming the victim's parents, weak reactions, etc. Today WSJ printed that NYC police will get involved; I don't know whether they've just uncovered the case or just finished up a break. I do know that school systems (Boards), teacher unions, and those with a hand in classifying criminal activity/sentencing have covered all their bases to ensure they will never be held liable. We send our children to school at our (THEIR) own risk; we are naive to believe otherwise.
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