Family says still awaiting justice for student ‘bullied’ into suicide

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Dead: Sarah Narine [Photo published with consent of the family]
It is now more than a month since 15-year-old Sarah Narine committed suicide amid an issue at her school, and her family is not satisfied with the investigations.

Sarah, who was a student of St Stanislaus College, committed suicide after returning home from school on June 2.

Reports indicate that the child was forced by the school’s headmistress and other teachers to write a statement admitting to an act she did not commit.

Family members contend that the teachers embarrassed the child, which led to her taking her own life.

In a press statement issued in June 14, the Childcare Protection Agency (CPA) said its investigations found that “there was an issue at the school involving the child that required special skills and guidance to deal with the matter. The persons at the school, at the time, apparently tried their best that they knew in the situation.”

In that press statement, the CPA said it had concluded its investigation and that the findings would have been shared with the Guyana Police Force (GPF).

Sarah’s mother, Chandrapattie Narine told INews that the family is not satisfied with the outcome of the probe.

“Indeed, I agree that my daughter committed suicide but she was bullied, harassed and pressured to write a statement of which she didn’t do, without the supervision of her parents/guardian,” the mother contended, adding that the teachers also went through the child’s phone which was an “invasion of her privacy”.

“Director of the Childcare and Protection Agency Ms. Ann Greene told us that the school did not deal with the matter properly, they should’ve called her,” the mother explained, noting that those in authority need to send a strong message to ensure a situation like this does not recur.

“I’m dissatisfied with how they handling the matter, and they need to handle it professionally…the teachers still on their job, on their duty…they still working, I’m not satisfied with how they handling the matter,” the mother expressed.

When asked what outcome she would like from the case, the mother did not say, but she indicated that the teachers cannot go unpunished.

“It seems as if Sarah was a mosquito just killed and that was it,” the mother expressed.

When contacted for a comment, CPA Head Ann Greene explained that the investigation is concluded and there is no other information to provide other than what was issued in the statement on June 14.

“I ain’t got no update on the investigations…[I] done put a statement in the papers…you got to check with [the police],” she explained.

Efforts to contact the Public Relations Officers of the GPF for a comment proved futile. From all indications, it appears as if no disciplinary actions were taken against the teachers.

Persons desirous of accessing the services of the Guyana Inter-agency Suicide Prevention Hotline can contact: Telephone numbers (+592) 223-0001, 223-0009, 600-7896, 623-4444; email: [email protected]; BBM PINS: 2BE55649, 2BE56020; Twitter: guyanaagency; WhatsApp: +592-600-7896, 592- 623-4444; and Facebook: Guyana Interagency Suicide Prevention Help Line.