Family members of a 13-year-old girl who ended her life after years of brutal bullying said Monday they are filing a lawsuit against a California school board because the staff failed to take action to stop the tormenting.
Rosalie Avila, who was taken off life support Dec. 1, took her life after her family said she was bullied at Mesa View Middle School in Yucaipa, California.
On Nov. 27, family members say Rosalie hanged herself after months of alleged bullying. They say a group of students targeted her incessantly, saying she was ugly. The family made the choice to donate her organs after she was taken off life support.
Family and friends of Rosalie stood together at a news conference, holding pictures of the teen who went by the nickname Rosie and always got good grades.
The girl’s father, Freddie Avila, said Monday he will never move on from his daughter’s death.
"I will wait till I die to see her in heaven," he said. "I don’t even know how to explain what my life is going to be like without her."
The proposed suit will be filed against the Yucaipa Calimesa Unified School District, alleging the school staff did nothing to protect Rosalie, even after she started harming herself.
Their attorney, Brian Claypool, said the girl was so depressed that she left behind a note saying she didn’t want her picture shown at her funeral because she thought she was too ugly.
"We want a law that requires every school district in this country to immediately notify the parent of the bully when there is any report of bullying – I don’t care if it’s a report of verbal abuse or physical abuse," Claypool said.
The family’s attorney says they will call the new law "Rosie’s Law."
Rosie’s Law would require schools nationwide to establish and implement suicide detection and prevention programs on campus.