NEW YORK -- On Wednesday morning, 7th grader Gabrielle Molina didn't attend school.
Locked up in her room, her parents thought she was just not feeling well. In the afternoon, her older sister forced her bedroom door open and found her dead.
Gabrielle apparently hanged herself and left a note about being bullied.
The note explained that she had been tormented in school and online. She was reportedly called a slut by schoolmates and told she looked like she had Down syndrome.
A recent fistfight with another girl was caught on video and was posted on YouTube. Local news also reported that Gabrielle had a history of cutting herself and had recently broken up with her boyfriend.
Neighbors were shocked to hear the news.
"I feel terrible, I feel terrible about it. I came down here, talked to the neighbors and we decided tonight to take collections from the neighbors to take collection for the burial," neighbor Joe Sorgei said.
Next-door Filipino neighbor Victor Pena said the government should take action against school bullying.
"Mabait 'yang batang 'yan at mahiyain. Kung minsan naglalaro sila dito, pero diyan lang siya sa loob dahil mahiyain eh. Dapat yang nang-bully eh bigyan ng leksiyon. (She’s a good kid. She’s also shy. Other kids would play outside but she would often stay indoors because I guess she’s shy. Those who bullied her should be taught a lesson)," he said.
Pena pointed out that this is not the first time an incident like this happened in his neighborhood.
A young Fil-Am took his own life in Queens Village about three years ago, while his own 16-year-old nephew was also tormented in school.
"(My nephew) no longer wanted to attend school. He wanted to return to the Philippines because at least back home he felt he won’t be bullied as much," he said.
Pena later advised the Molinas to do the same.
"When they found out that Gabrielle was being tormented in school, they should have just sent her home to the Philippines to study there," he said.
Gabrielle’s remains are still in the hospital morgue. According to neighbors, the family is struggling to find a cemetery that would allow their daughter, who committed suicide, to be buried.