via Latin Post
Last week 17-year-old Carlos Vigil killed himself.
No big deal; he was just another one of those LGBTQ youth whose life ended because he listened to the rants of other students who bullied him and called him a ‘loser’ and a ‘fag’. He was kind of chubby, and he wore glasses and he had bad skin, and he was gay. All perfectly justifiable reasons to drive someone to kill themselves. Weight, skin, eyesight, sexual orientation.
But before he ended his life, Carlos posted on social media that he could no longer take it; he posted that those who bullied him were right; he posted that it was time his life ended:
Ray Vigil, Carlos' father, raced home as soon as he saw his son’s Twitter post, but it was too late. Carlos was rushed to the hospital, and placed on life support, but, again, his family realized he would never recover and Carlos Vigil died; because he was a ‘fag’ and a ‘loser’ according to his fellow students. And he'd been one for almost his entire life.
Carlos' mother, Jacqueline, recalls a time when her son was just eight and had a Smiley Face lunchbox. A Smiley face; that was enough for the kids at school to tease and taunt him, and to take that lunchbox and stomp it to pieces; "He is not here because of bullying. It drove him over the edge."
A lunchbox. Bad skin. A little chubby. A pair of glasses. Being gay.
"We found out three years ago that he was going through this stuff and we've been trying to help him every day since. We realize he's been going through it every day since he was in the third grade, that's a long time for a child to hold that within himself."—Ray Vigil
The saddest part of all is that, even though he was one of the bullied, Carlos Vigil had dedicated his teenage years to advocating against bullying. He wanted it to end, not just for himself but for every single person in this country, everywhere; he wanted bullying to stop.
How sad that someone who worked to fight bullying, finally succumbed to the wishes of the bullies who attacked him.
How sad that those vicious students will continue in school, continue in life, grow older, perhaps get married and raise a family, when their hate-filled words took the life of another.
How sad that we continue to let this happen.
We continue to stand by and shake our heads and mutter about the tragedy, and then we turn the TV back on, or skip those posts on Twitter and Facebook about kids being tortured to death.
How sad, for all of us, but even sadder that Carlos Vigil, and so many others, have left us far too soon.
We can talk all we want about bullying and how much we despise it, but the time is over for just talk. The time is ripe for students who bully other students for any reason to be held accountable for their actions. That schools that look the other way when students are being tortured be held accountable. That teachers and parents who recite that old adage, Kids will be kids be held accountable.
Or, we can just mourn another lost life, another lost chance. Once again.