Bullied teenager dies four days after suicide attempt

15 Nov

The teenage girl who tried to take her own life on Friday, allegedly because she was being bullied at school, died yesterday.

The girl lived with her parents in Torralba de Calatraval, and was in second year at the IES San Juan de vila secondary school in Ciudad Real, around 15km away.

The regional education minister for Castilla-La Mancha,Marcial Marn, has opened an investigation into the incident, and confirmed that the girl’s father has already made a formal complaint to the police against her daughter’s tutor, guidance teacher and the school headteacher.

Marn explained that the “first and only” knowledge the school had of the teenager’s situation was last Wednesday, when her father came into school to complain to the Head of Studies about the “climate of violence” that he felt his daughter was having to deal with.

Up until that time, the only indication the school had that anything was wrong was the student’s “unusually high” number of absences – one in September, 15 in October and 6 already in November – for which they had already contacted the girl’s father on two separate occasions.

On Wednesday, the guidance teacher met with the student to hear her grievances and afterwards spoke to two other students the teenager had said made her uncomfortable. In his subsequent report, the guidance teacher said he felt there was no evidence of “repeated and continual bullying amongst peers” which is, he said, the “pre-requisite” for moving a student to another school.

The school offered the pupil in question the opportunity to change to another class, however she made an attempt on her life early on Friday morning. This left her in hospital in a critical condition for four days, but medical staff lost their battle to save her life yesterday.

Marcial Marn has expressed his sympathy and “solidarity” with the family and has asked for “prudence” to allow the school inspectors to do their jobs and establish whether staff should take responsibility.

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