David Bartlett Molak, age 16, passed away on Monday, January 4, 2016, in his hometown of San Antonio, Texas. David had recently achieved the prestigious rank of Eagle Scout with Troop 809. David’s passions included hunting, fishing, and playing video games with his older brothers, Cliff and Chris. He was extremely knowledgeable about professional football and could lead any fantasy association to success. David never passed up on an opportunity for an outdoor adventure or a chance to dominate his family in Monopoly. His infectious smile and sharp wit entertained his peers to the dismay of his teachers, but all in good fun. More importantly, David was a good friend to many and genuinely cared for others.
Letters of Peace: A Grieving Brother’s Call for Kindness
Within a couple of days of losing David, his loving brothers wrote a Facebook post sharing their feelings about David’s untimely death and calling on others in the community to join together to stop bullying. They commented that the only way to end the suffering in this nation, whether it is caused by bullying or discrimination, is not to highlight the differences between groups of people but to focus on the importance of the accountability and ultimately the character of people. The post rapidly spread across the country, and it became their dream that David’s legacy would help heal this country. Those words have inspired many, and they remain the vision of our efforts every day at David’s Legacy Foundation.
Message from David’s Family
Our beloved son and brother took his own life on January 4, 2016, at the age of 16. In the last few months before his death, our joyful David with a huge smile and an even bigger heart was overwhelmed with hopelessness after being continuously harassed, humiliated and threatened by a group of students through text messages and social media. As we have learned, cyberbullying is a form of abuse that is non-stop and can invade all areas of life. Experts tell us that cyberbullying can lead to depression, low self-esteem, anxiety, and, as we know, suicide.
To honor David’s legacy, we vow to help prevent this from happening to another family. No child should have to face this kind of harassment, and no family should have to endure the pain of losing a precious child in response. David’s Legacy Foundation is an organization dedicated to the education of young people, teens and adults about eliminating cyber and any bullying. It is our dream and the dream of thousands of other families to wipe out bullying in all forms and to protect our young children and teens from this senseless and cruel behavior.
We believe that addressing this issue will require action and a change of heart from today’s youth. Therefore, we are challenging parents and schools to take an active role in supervising and monitoring children for signs of involvement as an aggressor, victim or bystander of cyberbullying. Additionally, we believe that legislative action is also a necessary component to initiate this change in culture and will continue to propose legislation that protects our children and empowers schools and parent to combat cyberbullying.
The Molak Family