After enduring prolonged harassment at school as well as online, 16-year-old David Molak from Alamo Heights, San Antonio, hanged himself in his family’s backyard.
His family is now speaking out against bullying, which is alarmingly becoming a common cause of suicide among adolescents and teens in the country.
David was a sophomore who had been the target of bullying at Alamo Heights High School since October, his brother Cliff Molak told San Antonio Express News in a phone interview. He further said David was being bullied on Instagram “over his physical appearance” and was also receiving threatening text messages that read "Let's put him in a body bag" or "We're going to put him six feet under."
Recommended: Canadian Teen Commits Suicide After Posting Video About Bullying On YouTube
In order to raise his voice against bullying and cyberbullying, Cliff wrote a moving Facebook post, urging people to be more vigilant about the issue.
"What happened to my beloved brother was a tragedy," Cliff stated. "A tragedy set into motion by a boy whom I will not further empower by naming."
"In today's age, bullies don't push you into lockers, they don't tell their victims to meet them behind the school's Dumpster after class," Cliff wrote in his post. "They cower behind user names and fake profiles from miles away constantly berating and abusing good, innocent people."
David’s tragic death has also brought into spotlight an issue which is common yet largely ignored in the country: bullying-related suicides.
Last November, an 11-year-old’s family from Colorado, campaigned against bullying after claiming their daughter committed suicide after being bullied at school.
While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there is no direct link established between bullying and suicide-related behavior, both are closely related.
“This means youth who report any involvement with bullying behavior are more likely to report high levels of suicide-related behavior than youth who do not report any involvement with bullying behavior,” the CDC states on its website.
Read More: Desperate Mother Takes On School In A Fight To End Bullying