Joel Morales’ death hit our community hard. The 12-year-old El Barrio/East Harlem boy tragically committed suicide last week after experiencing bullying, teasing, and harassment. In this moment of profound sadness for Joel Morales’ family, the East Harlem community has generously banded together in an outpouring of support to ensure that the funeral and burial costs are covered. I truly thank East Harlem Tutorial Program, Harlem RBI and Tahl Propp for their contributions as well as each and every person who has provided a donation or has stopped to pay their respects to the family in this time of sorrow.
Joel Morales’ wake will be held today from 3 PM-11 PM at the First Spanish Baptist Church (216 East 116th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues). All are welcome to attend.
This is an unspeakable tragedy which I hope inspires us all to do more in the future to prevent bullying and suicide. My office will be working with schools and community groups to send a message that this behavior will not be tolerated in our neighborhood. We will also make sure that our youth are aware of resources that are out there to help them in times of distress.
Founders note: please contribute to the memory to a Harlem son Joel Morales’ to not let another suicide happen because of bullying again.