Donors Raise Enough Money for Funeral of 12-Year-Old Bullied Harlem Boy

By Ben Fractenberg on June 4, 2012 1:36pm 

A photo of Joel Morales at a memorial set up for him in front of the building where he lived with his mother before he hanged himself Tuesday.
A photo of Joel Morales at a memorial set up for him in front of the building where he lived with his mother before he hanged himself Tuesday.
View Full Caption
DNAinfo/Jeff Mays

HARLEM — Community members have donated more than $6,000 toward the funeral and memorial service for 12-year-old Joel Morales, the Harlem boy who hanged himself after being bullied repeatedly at school.

Friends, neighbors, classmates, and the Boys and Girls Club Morales participated in have all sent money in to the funeral fund since DNAinfo reported last week that the family was struggling to pay for the services, according to City Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito, who sent out an email to her constituents to help raise money for the family.

Details are still being worked out with the First Avenue Funeral Services on First Avenue and 115th Street, according to Mark-Viverito, but the tentative plan is to have a wake on Wednesday and burial service on Thursday.

"It's a very difficult moment," said Mark-Viverito, who said her office is looking at providing additional "support services" for the Morales' mother to help her cope with the loss.

Morales hung himself in his apartment bathroom May 29 after being bullied repeatedly by his peers, relatives said.

He was transferred from Public School 57 to Public School 102 in the winter after a group of boys knocked on his door and threw sticks and a pipe at him when he answered, the Daily News reported.

Mark-Viverito said her office is looking into ways to address bullying in the neighborhood.

"We are having conversations about what we can do at a community level on bullying," said a spokesman for Mark-Viverito, who said they will start to speak with "youth programs and schools" about reducing bullying once the funeral arrangements have been finalized.

Neighborhood Sponsors

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement