[www.inewsguyana.com] – The suicide of a Fifth Form student at the West Coast Demerara “Swami” school has sent shockwaves among students and teachers.
Dead is 16 – year – old Alex Persaud of Lot 18 Stewartville, West Coast Demerara, who consumed a poisonous substance on October 06 and succumbed on October 10 at the Woodlands Hospital.
Persaud was reportedly involved in a ‘friendship’ with a young teacher at the school over which he was reportedly expelled and the teacher fired.
The boy had previously told his mother that the Principal and Founder of the School Swami Aksharananda “does really embarrass people.”
He committed suicide a day before his parents were due to meet with Aksharananda. Reports indicate that the teenager was humiliated by the Swami in the presence of his friends and others at the school.
The boy’s mother, Monica Sirichand, and his grandmother, could not say with certainty whether the planned meeting with the Swami was intended to discuss his friendship with the teacher.
“We don’t know if Alex was upset with anything or what,” Sheila Persaud, the grandmother told iNews.
The woman said the boy bought gramoxone from a nearby shop and ingested it at home.
The boy had reportedly told his parents that he was sent home by the Principal but did not say why.
His father alone showed up for a meeting, but the Principal asked him to return with his wife to discuss the matter. That meeting should have taken place two Tuesdays ago, but the meeting never happened since Persaud ingested the poisonous substance the day before.
While at the hospital, the boy is reported to have told his mother he did not want to go back to the school.
Students at the school are upset with the way the matter is being handled, especially so at a school which has trumpeted its commitment to addressing mental health and suicides in Guyana. Just recently, teachers and students say they had to set up a booth at GuyExpo to raise awareness about suicides in Guyana.
The students and teachers say they are allowed to talk about the incident for fear of being expelled or dismissed. The family is expected to transfer their daughter out of the same school following the incident.
Several of the boy’s friends were upset at the way the school has treated the incident. Most of the students have created fake profiles on the social network Facebook and have been expressing frustration.
“(The) laugh is GuyExpo the school had big suicide boot(h) forcing we and the teachers to take part and week after we friend dead,” said one student.
Students said that they were initially not being allowed to attend the funeral, but when they started to cry, they were eventually given permission.
Students were also taken aback that a minute of silence was not observed in memory of their friend when the school held its annual graduation exercise on Sunday, October 12.
When contacted, Swami Aksharananda, through his Secretary, who responded via email confirmed that the young man was indeed expelled from the school but that the teacher in question was not asked to resign.
“She never returned,” the email stated. The Swami also denied publicly humiliating the now dead teenager.