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Raul and his family are hoping the tragic loss of their daughter will help change the laws regarding cyberbullying.
After repeated constant bullying – both in person and online – from fellow students, Brandy Vela reached a breaking point. Her sister Jacqueline came home to find Brandy with a gun pointed at her chest. Her entire family pleaded with her to put the gun down, but tragically, she shot herself and died.
“What happened to my daughter didn’t have to happen,” Raul says. The grieving father joins The Doctors the same week of his late daughter’s funeral. Despite their heartache and pain, Raul and his family are hoping to use Brandy’s death as a way to affect change.
“We’re going to continue to stress the awareness of cyberbullying,” he says, explaining that the family is scheduled to meet with a Texas state representative about the laws regarding cyberbullying and hope to amend an upcoming bill to make the punishment and consequences more severe. “We have to do something. Things are going to have to change.”
He explains that local police are working hard to determine who is responsible for bullying Brandy, but even after her death, the harassment continues. Three days after she took her life, the family was informed that someone had created a social media page under Brandy's name. While some people left sincere messages and their condolences, others left horrific and abusive comments.
“No child should die as a result of cyberbullying,” ER physician Dr. Travis Stork says. The Doctors wish Raul and his family all the best in changing the laws regarding cyberbullying.