Matthew Burdette's Death

Matthew Burdette's Death

Part of a series on Cyberbullying. [View Related Entries]

Updated Jan 28, 2019 at 08:03AM EST by andcallmeshirley.

Added Jul 16, 2014 at 02:36PM EDT by Don.

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Matthew Burdette was a teenager who took his own life after a video of him masturbating in a bathroom stall went viral in November 2013. Like the teen suicides of Amanda Cummings, Amanda Todd and Mitchell Henderson, Burdette's death became the subject of many conversations online about the issue of cyberbullying.


On November 15th, 2013, 14-year-old San Diego high school student Matthew Burdette was purportedly kicked out of a class at University City High School for eating sunflower seeds and was subsequently secretly filmed masturbating in a bathroom stall. The video was posted online and circulated through video-sharing sites like SnapChat and Vine. On November 29th, Burdette committed suicide while on Thanksgiving holiday with his family and left a note expressing his inner turmoil caused by the harassment he was receiving.

"I can’t do school anymore. I have no friends. I don’t want to kill myself but I have no friends."

Notable Developments


On May 27th, 2014, Burdette's parents filed a $1-million claim against the San Diego Unified School District for failing to take action against those who were bullying their son.

Burdette Claim

School District's Response

On July 14th, 2014, the school district issued a statement announcing they were unable to comment about the suicide:

“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. For this reason, the district cannot provide details about Matthew Burdette’s death. Our hearts and thoughts continue to be with his family and loved ones.”[10]

News Media Coverage

In July 2014, several news sites published article about Burdette's suicide, including Sky News,[2] CBS News,[3] The Huffington Post,[4] LA Times,[5] The Daily Dot,[6] The Daily Mail,[7] The Mirror[8] and Heavy.[9]

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