On Tuesday afternoon, 17-year old high school student Riley Moscatel ended his life in Bucks County. The rising senior at Bucks County Technical High School placed himself in front of an Amtrak train heading for New York City at approximately 1:30pm this afternoon.
Riley’s mother, Kristine Moscatel, said in the Bucks County Courier Times that “things were just building up and building up and she just couldn’t take it anymore. She hid behind her mask. She had a mask for me, my husband, my son, my parents…everyone she had a different face for, but they were all happy (faces).” Riley was referred to as a “rising star” in the commercial and advertising arts program at Bucks County Technical High School by school officials in the article.
Both the LevittownNow and Bucks County Courier Times misgendered Riley in their reports. LevittownNow updated their online post to reflect his correct pronouns. The current headline by the Bucks County Courier Times and the Intelligencer is “Mom ‘heartbroken’ over daughter’s suicide by train.“
No one is alone in experiencing depression, anxiety, or distress. If you or any LGBT youth you know ever need someone to talk with, we encourage you to call the Trevor Project at 866-488-7386.
In Pennsylvania, there are no school district or state policies which specifically affirm transgender students. PSEC is currently working to advance local and state policies to provide comprehensive support for transgender students in public schools.
Riley’s friends and family will release balloons at the Croydon Train Station in his memory this coming Sunday afternoon.