Devastated family of 14-year-old claim cruel social media post led to his suicide

Devastated family of 14-year-old claim cruel social media post led to his suicide

Salvador Rios, 14, died on August 15 after being cyberbullied and his family alleged on the day he died, a homophobic post was shared targeting the boy and sharing personal details about his life

The person who made the post allegedly also tagged Salvador's family and friends in a bid to share their homophobic remarks with a wider audience.

The person who made the post allegedly also tagged Salvador’s family and friends in a bid to share their homophobic remarks with a wider audience

The family of a 14-year-old boy who committed suicide before school restarted have said it was cyberbullying that led to his death.

Salvador Rios killed himself on August 15 after a post on social media allegedly launched a homophobic attack on the teen and shared private information about him. The San Diego Police Department has launched an investigation into the bullying and Salvador’s death.

His sister, Aleah Rios, said: “One post not only destroyed my brother’s life, but my life, my family’s life. I feel like a part of my heart is missing.” Salvador’s sister explained that an anonymous post had been shared on social media on August 15. The post was made just days before the teenager had been due to start the eighth grade at Standley Middle School in San Diego.

He was eager to get back to school, according to Aleah. She said: “Every day, telling his friends, ‘How are you not excited? I’m so excited for school to start’.”

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Salvador’s sister spoke to ABC10, and explained that an anonymous post had been shared on social media on August 15
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Image:

KGTV)

But that eagerness to get back to the classroom all changed after someone, who has yet to be identified, shared an Instagram post. Explaining the contents of the now deleted post, Aleah said: “Someone posted a picture of him, making very homophobic remarks about him, disclosing personal information that he had disclosed only to a few individuals.”

The person who made the post allegedly also tagged Salvador’s family and friends in a bid to share their homophobic remarks with a wider audience. Within hours, Salvador’s body was found at a family member’s home.

But Aleah told ABC10 it wasn’t the first time her brother had experienced homophobia. Just after Salvador came out as gay, in the sixth grade, he was jumped by several students on his way home from Marston Middle School.

He was just 12 years old at the time as he was held down and punched by older students who were heard yelling homophobic remarks at him. His family later discovered he had been experiencing bullying since the beginning of the school year. As a result, Salvador was moved out of Marston and over to Standley. According to Aleah, he was thriving after the move, having joined the debate team and setting his sights on attending Harvard Law School.







Aleah said it wasn’t the first time her brother had experienced homophobia
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Image:

KGTV)

“He lived every day to the fullest,” said Aleah. “He was supported by his group of friends and family. The world has lost such a strong, confident, loving boy who could have done amazing things and changed many things.

Aleah, Salvador’s family and his friends are now fighting for change, hoping to show people what the devastating consequences of their actions can be, even if it’s just a social media post. Aleah pleaded: “Please consider what you’re posting. You don’t know the impact it could have.”

They’re also hoping to bring the person or group behind the attack to justice. Aleah said: “I would like to see accountability, because my brother deserves justice.”

It’s not clear whether any individuals have been identified or punished in connection with the matter. A GoFundMe has been set up to help Salvador’s family cover the cost of his funeral and memorial.

For emotional support you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email [email protected], visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.

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