One of the saddest things in my adventures as a teacher is when a student dies. It is exceptionally so when the student committed suicide.
In my first year in teaching for a big American International School near Manila, a Korean student decided to end his young life. He was 16. He flunked his algebra exam, and he didn’t have family in the Philippines.
Last Saturday, my mother messaged me about an 18 year old student from a famed British school in Manila who ended his own life. Couldn’t care less to be honest, at the back of my head, Filipinos who go to that school are spoiled, rich, often from a political family or a showbiz family. But one of my good friends came to work there, and I even tried to work there, I can only say that that school is top tier, top notch and very respectable.
The kid allegedly jumped from a carpark building in Salcedo Village in Makati (where my boyfriend used to live, so quite familiar with the area!), and to his death. His family comes from a posh village a stone’s throw away, and when I was researching for it, learned that their family is my aunt’s neighbor in Makati (also very familiar with that area), and one article even said that the Barangay Council vouched for the student’s intelligence. My aunt is chairman of the council. How very familiar indeed.
Suicides come and go. Depression is bound to hit you at some point or another and if you can’t handle it, well, it makes to wanna jump towards your demise.That’s how I look at it. Some people, take a different spin on it, like blaming the teacher of the kid for his suicide. Like whaaaaat?
The parents say that they will acquire a hold departure order for the student’s British teacher as she reprimanded the kid for plagiarizing his writing assignment, and that was, according to them, is what made the kid’s fuse blow.
That is in no way right. First of all, plagiarism is WRONG. Full stop. It’s stealing. I understand where the kid is coming from, we were all at that one point in our lives where deadline is imminent and you can’t rephrase a damn paragraph, but is it my fault if you waited for the deadline? How come other students did it too? As a teacher, I’d reprimand him too. I want my student’s to have integrity!
If the kid was smart as they say he is, then I’m pretty sure he’s cool about it, he knew what he was doing, as after all, he’s smart. Unless he was on drugs, which can make his behavior go bonkers. Then again, he can be just plain depressed and that made him bonkers. Why does the depression have to be blamed on the teacher though? Can he not have other problems?
I will quote the mother on this “Dapat sabihin kaagad ng school ang nangyari para masuportahan sa bahay o dapat nadoon kami sa meeting na ‘yon (We should have been told immediately what happened so we could support him at home or we should have been in the meeting [with the teacher]),” (source) and I go, whut. He’s 18. He’s an adult. Being a Filipino though, 18 can still be pretty kiddie and the British teacher MAY have not realized that the student isn’t mature enough to take a very sensitive, intellectually-blowing reprimand (but mature enough to plagiarize – ha!), but yeah, understand it when the parents go, he’s still a kid. Maturity is relative after all.
It’s good that the school hasn’t issued a statement over this as it’s just, sorry – stupid. I am tempted to say sorry that I wasted your time on this but to tell the truth, we can all learn from this: quit plagiarizing, claim your mistakes, be kind to everyone. We all have our shit. Let’s all be giving.
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