Carlos Vigil, 17, of Albuquerque, New Mexico was an anti-bullying advocate, but over the weekend he took his own life — the apparent victim of what he fought against.
Carlos was to be a senior at Valley High in the fall, where he transferred last year to escape bullying at Los Lunas High School. He had been picked on for his weight, his acne, his glasses and according to the suicide note he left on Twitter on Saturday, for being gay.
— Carlos Vigil (@Chillll) July 13, 2013
Carlos’ mother Jacqueline, told KRQE that her son had been victimized since he was at least eight years old.
“He had this lunchbox, a smiley face lunchbox, and people thought it was the funniest lunchbox ever, and they made fun of him for it,” she said. “They grabbed it on the school bus and just threw it on the floor and broke it. It’s just little things like that.”
As a member of Youth and Government, Carlos pushed for stronger anti-bullying laws. Before Carlos published his suicide note, his friends said he had just returned from a trip out-of-state where he had spoken out against bullying.
“Words can really hurt and I think Carlos…he couldn’t do it anymore,” said Patricia Valles, one of dozens of Carlos’ classmates who showed up to the hospital Monday where he was on life support.
Carlos was taken off of life support early Tuesday morning after his organs had been donated, as he had wished. His parents will try to keep his story and his message alive, in hopes that their son didn’t die in vain. For now his Twitter account will remain open to raise bullying awareness.
Meanwhile, Carlos’ peers have held fundraisers to help his family and have been inspired in the face of tragedy. “Even though now Carlos is gone, we need to focus on what he left trying to say,” said former classmate Alyssa Cisneros, “that bullying is a problem.”
Photo: Carlos Vigil