Wake Scheduled Thursday for Bullied Harlem Boy

By Ben Fractenberg on June 5, 2012 1:27pm 

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.
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DNAinfo/Jeff Mays

EAST HARLEM — A wake is scheduled Thursday afternoon for 12-year-old Joel Morales who hanged himself in his East Harlem home after being bullied in school.

The service will be held Thursday, June 7, from 3-11 p.m. at the First Spanish Baptist Church at 216 East 116th St. between 2nd and 3rd avenues, according to a spokesman for City Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito.

The funeral is planned for Friday, but details are still being worked out. It may be just a private service for the family, the spokesman added. 

Morales hanged himself on May 29 after continuously being bullied in school for his small stature and good grades, relatives said.

He transferred over the winter from P.S. 57 to P.S. 102 after a group of boys knocked on his door and then threw sticks and a metal pipe at him when he answered.

Mark-Viverito helped the family raise more than $6,000 from community members and organizations for the wake and funeral.

The city councilwoman said she will work with schools and youth groups after the services are over about ways to reduce bullying.

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