Twelve-year-old East Harlem boy commits suicide

It’s horrible to think what can make a 12-year-old commit suicide. In Joel Morales case, his family believes he hanged himself after relentless bullying because he was  smart and short for his age, reported the New York Post.

“He was a very smart kid. He was 12-years-old but he had the air of an 18-year-old,” Francisco Babilonia, the boy’s grandfather, told the Post. “We never had a problem with him, he was such a nice kid,” he said.

Morales was also mocked because his father died when he was just a baby, relatives told the Post. Even after switching schools, he was still harassed by bullies that waited for him at his after-school program, said Babilonia.

Lizbeth Babilonia, Joel’s mother, discovered the boy’s body in their apartment bathroom Tuesday night after searching the area with a neighbor, thinking he was late from an after school program.

“I thought he had drowned, but then I saw the lacerations [around his neck] and I knew there was nothing I could do,” the neighbor, Inez Rodriguez, told the Post.

Lizbeth tried to stab herself with the knife used to cut Joel down, but Rodriguez slapped it away.

“She kept saying she couldn’t live without her son,” Rodriguez told the Post.

According to the American Society for the Prevention of of Cruelty to Children (ASPCC) 30 percent of U.S. students in grades six through ten are involved in bullying as bullies, victims, or both.

The New York Department of Education is looking into the family’s reports of bullying at the school and issued a statement saying, “A crisis team was provided at the school to offer counseling to staff and students. We cannot comment further,” reported CBS New York.

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