The suicide of a 16-year old Eastern Cape learner this week has once more thrust the issue of bullying into the spotlight. Lathitha Nako, a grade 10 learner at Bhisho high school, swallowed a pesticide and died in hospital on Wednesday.
Her devastated family is demanding that bullying at schools must be addressed to prevent similar tragedies.
Before her death, she spoke openly about the bullying she endured on social media platforms.
Speaking out telling the world what she is going through, contemplating suicide. Then, going through with it. But that is not the person her family knew.
Teen suicide again highlights the need to address bullying at schools:
Lathitha Nako wanted to become a doctor. Her family had high hopes, but it was dashed by this tragedy.
Mother Kholeka Nako says, “My heart is sore because l will never see Lathitha again l will only see her in pictures. My heart will remain sore Bisho High School has failed. I struggle to sleep.”
Calls from all quarters are being made to get to the bottom of the matter.
Khula Community Development Project’s, Petros Majola says a program needs to be developed to stop bullying in schools.
“Let us sit down and develop a program that deals with bullying at schools. We are aware that they do have their own policies but at the same time we are not sure that they are vocal about these policies.”
The Provincial Department of Education is also investigating the circumstances leading to her suicide.
Eastern Cape Department of Education Spokesperson, Vuyiseka Mboxela says an urgent investigation is under way.
“There must be an urgent investigation tomorrow there is a meeting which is going to look holistic into this learner which is then going to give a directive and there is a multidisciplinary committee because there are other people outside the department who interested in this matter.”
Social workers will also be deployed to the school to provide support to learners and teachers.