Cape Town – A 17-year-old girl from KwaZulu-Natal reportedly committed suicide after allegedly being bullied at school.
The grade 11 learner at Sonyongwane high school in Creighton reportedly killed herself on Friday, leaving a note detailing how she was constantly mocked for her looks, reports said.
According to KwaZulu-Natal department of social development, Andiswa Chiya, 17, was allegedly bullied by her schoolmates who frequently told her that she was ugly and teased her about the shape of her head, reported IOL.
Social development MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza said it was heartbreaking to lose a child as a result of bullying at school, adding that the province had experienced repeated incidents as a result of bullying, the report said.
“This is cruelty that all parents should be careful of — the children must be protected at all times and we must be able to help them to deal with depression they encounter as a result of bullying,” the report quoted Khoza as saying.
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Social workers had since been deployed to the family and school to provide psychosocial support.
TimesLIVE reported that the teen’s family was “heartbroken” while the community was shocked by the incident.
“This incident has affected the entire community because it is something that has never happened before. We were shocked that the child committed suicide after intense bullying at school,” the report quoted ward councillor, Mthobisi Dlamini as saying.
Dlamini said if they knew the challenge the teen was facing, they would have immediately attended to it to avoid such a tragedy, the report said.
Khoza said it was important for parents to understand the signs of depression and that talking about mental health was key to preventing suicide.
She said that the prevention of teenage suicides started with a better understanding of the symptoms of depression.
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Compiled by Olwethu Mpeshe