A San Diego teenager who was secretly filmed masturbating in a high school bathroom became so despondent and mentally tortured in class that he committed suicide during a family vacation.
The tragic episode had an innocuous origin. Matthew Burdette, 14, was told to leave his University City High School class for violating school rules of eating when he was caught devouring sunflower seeds. The only problem was that Burdette was not given a destination — he wasn’t told to go home nor to report to the principal’s office — after being ordered out, so the teen aimlessly roamed the halls and happened upon a bathroom, where eventually he began to pleasure himself, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Unbeknownst to Burdette, someone was already in the bathroom, and when he began to masturbate, the student filmed the episode. The person who recorded it quickly uploaded the scene onto SnapChat and Vine and the video, of course, went viral.
Burdette was bullied and teased relentlessly and mercilessly for two weeks following the incident.
The mental beat-down, coupled with the fact that Burdette said he had no friends, overwhelmed Burdette. He decided to kill himself during a Thanksgiving trip with his family.
The classmate who uploaded the video could face charges related to California’s anti-bullying law. Meanwhile, Burdette’s surviving family members announced they are moving forward with a lawsuit against the school, believing they knew their son was being harassed and did little or nothing to intervene.