Learner, 13, commits suicide after bullying

Date: 20 Feb 2019

A GRADE 6 learner at Doornpoort Primary School in Pretoria has committed suicide after being bullied on social media.

The 13-year-old had been bullied by some youngsters on WhatsApp groups since Thursday.

Sinoville Crisis Centre spokesperson Sonja Carstens said learners at the school were shocked and traumatised by the news.

In response, the centre’s members were immediately deployed to the school to comfort pupils and parents.

Carstens said it was a very sad moment. She pleaded with the public to be mindful of the fact that teenagers were very emotional beings, who were impulsive.

The Department of Basic Education said it had conducted a preliminary investigation into the incident. In terms of the findings, the learner was allegedly bullied by a Grade 7 schoolmate.

The alleged perpetrator distributed a video depicting the pupil naked.

She reported the bullying to her life sciences teacher after school on Thursday. However, the alleged perpetrator had already left school.

The following day, the victim was absent from school.

Her mother went to see the principal to discuss her concerns on Monday, only to discover the girl’s body when she returned home later that morning.

The department said it was saddened by the matter.

“Necessary action will be taken against all implicated learners,” it said.

“On behalf of the entire education fraternity in Gauteng, we would like to extend our deepest condolences to the family of the deceased learner. We hope that the family will find comfort in the knowledge that we too share their loss,” said MEC Panyaza Lesufi.

Schools were urged to enforce their codes of conduct to deal with bullying.

Sinoville police station spokesperson Warrant Officer Johan van Dyk said an inquiry was undertaken and that an investigation was under way to determine what had transpired.

By MATLHATSI DIBAKWANE matlhatsi.dibakwane@inl.co.za

 

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