UK & World News
California Boy Took Own Life 'Over Viral Clip'
The parents of a boy scout who killed himself after he was "mercilessly bullied" when a clip of him allegedly performing a sex act went viral are suing his school district.
Matthew Burdette, 14, took his own life on November 29 while with his family on a Thanksgiving holiday, two weeks after the incident.
He left a note saying he could no longer "handle school" and had "no friends", according to the claim.
In their $1m lawsuit against San Diego Unified School District, Timothy and Barbara Burdette allege school staff knew of the harassment against their son but did nothing about it.
According to the claim, Matthew was kicked out of class at University City High School on November 15 for eating - and was then secretly filmed by a classmate, who was peeking over the top of a bathroom stall.
The student posted the video online and it was quickly shared on social media websites such as SnapChat and Vine throughout the school district, according to the claim.
"From the moment the video was posted, Matthew was mercilessly bullied, harassed and teased by students who had seen the video," states the claim.
The Burdettes say their son, a member of the water polo and wrestling teams who was studying to become an Eagle Scout, became withdrawn.
"Matthew's once positive and outgoing personality was now wrought with insecurity and depression," said the lawsuit.
The boy who filmed the clip could now face charges under the state's anti-bullying law.
The San Diego County prosecutor's office said a hearing was set for July 23 in juvenile court in the case.
School officials said in a statement on Monday: "At San Diego Unified, the safety and well-being of our students is a top priority.
"The district also adheres to the privacy and confidentiality laws and regulations related to students, families and ongoing investigations."