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Anti-bullying rally in La Marque aims to create dialogue

Families of bullied teens share their stories

LA MARQUE, Texas – Last November, Brandy Vela killed herself in front of her family after months of bullying.

Details: Bullying leads Texas City senior to suicide.

Her relatives know all too well the pain of cyberbullying.

"They tortured my daughter for six months nonstop,” Raul Vela said.

Earlier this week, Andres Villagomez and Karinthya Romero were charged in connection with the teen’s suicide. But the Vela family said the conversation doesn’t stop here.

“Just because two people are sitting in jail doesn't stop the bullying and the harassment," Vela said.

It's been a challenging year for the community, especially at Texas City High School, which is why organizers put together the anti-bullying rally held Saturday. The goal was to open up the dialogue, and they wanted kids to know there is a place to go if they need help.

"I want kids to feel comfortable knowing that they can talk to someone who is not a family member or someone who they know, who is trying to reach out," life coach Detrick Harper said.

Harper works with students to help overcome the pain of bullying.
 
"My life coach Detrick helped me not to kill myself at school," seventh-grader Regina Carter said.

Bailie Lundy, 15, died last month. Detectives are investigating the case as a suicide.

Her family isn’t sure if bullying played a role, but they joined the anti-bullying cause.

“She was loved,” Shandra Clay said. “(She was) always happy (and) always smiling. She was just loved.”

Clay wanted people to know there’s always hope.

“Talk to somebody,” Clay said. “(There’s) always a listening ear. (There’s) always someone there for you.”

Added parent Lola Hill, "I needed to let my daughter know that if she can't talk to me, there's other people that she can talk to.”