School teasing blamed in Surrey teen's suicide
The family of a 14-year-old boy who committed suicide last weekend blames his death on constant teasing and bullying at his high school.
Hamed Nastoh was a Grade 9 student at Enver Creek Secondary School in Surrey. He described the harassment he suffered in a five-page note he left for his family, before leaping to his death from the Patullo Bridge.
Police found the boy's body resting against a log in the Fraser River early Sunday morning.
Hamed's grieving mother, Nasima Nastoh, says her son told the family in his note that bullying and tauting drove him to suicide.
"And the letter said, 'Mom I was teased at school by my mates, my classmates, even my own friends laughed at me. They always called me four-eyes, big-nose, and geek,' because his average mark was over 90. He had very good marks and he was very intelligent," says Nasima Nastoh.
Muriel Wilson of the Surrey School Board says she tells students there is a zero tolerance policy on bullying.
"If they witness bullying, they take an active role in trying to stop it. Let us know so we can deal with it. And if the children are being bullied, let us know so we can deal with it," says Wilson.
But that did not happen in this case. Hamed's mother says he refused to talk to school officials.
His friends also felt powerless to stop the taunting he endured.
"Everyone gets bullied. But this went too far. We stood up for him, but people couldn't get the hint that this went too far, and this pushed him," says one Enver Creek student.
A memorial to Hamed was set up in the school hallways this week, and trauma counsellors were available to distraught students.
His mother says one of the last wishes Hamed expressed in his suicide note was for people to stop harassing each other and to realize that teasing is hurtful.
Authorities say the issue of school bullying will likely be examined at a coroner's inquest.