August 31st, 2017
A 12-year-old girl killed herself on 28 August after her teacher allegedly scolded her in class for staining her clothes and her seat with menstrual blood.
The girl was a student of Standard VII of Joseph Matriculation School in Palayamkottai, Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu. She committed suicide by jumping off a 25-foot high building in her neighbourhood. She was immediately taken to the Palayamkottai GH but died on the way.
The suicide happened around 3 am on 28 August, and the note that was left behind by the girl had a mention of the torture that she faced from her class-teacher.
Her suicide note read: “Did I ever get reported when I was in Class VI? Then why is my Class VII teacher complaining about me? What mistake have I done that they’re torturing me like this? I don’t have any option. I must die.”
The girl’s mother has pointed out that her daughter had got her periods while the class was going on and being new to puberty, she did not know how to deal with the emergency.
Her classmates had told her that her uniform and the bench was stained with period blood. Embarrassed, the girl asked permission from the teacher to use the washroom. The teacher, however, yelled at her in front of her classmates, told her to leave the room, and scolded her asking if she couldn’t even place her pad correctly. She was reportedly given a duster cloth to use as a sanitary napkin, citing non-availability of an ayah (nanny).
Some reports even say that the girl was not a diligent student and that she has been getting scoldings for not completing her homework.
The teacher did not take into account the fact that boys were also present in the classroom and the girl might feel awkward in front of everyone. The girl was also taken to the principal’s cabin where she was allegedly scolded for not knowing how to handle herself while menstruating.
Speaking to The Logical Indian, the police said, “The girl’s father has lodged a FIR and investigation is underway. We are yet to arrest anyone in the case.”
“The suicide note has no mention of the incident about the period nor the name of the teacher, the classmates too did not talk about the menstrual stains,” he added. A case of abetment to suicide (IPC section 306) has been registered.
After her suicide, an enraged group of people including parents protested in front of the school.
Around 20% of Indian girls drop out of school when they reach puberty because of the inconvenience in managing menstruation and the stigma attached to it.
The Logical Indian community severely condemns the attitude of the teacher. It is appalling to see how a young girl is humiliated to the extent that she is compelled to commit suicide. We sincerely hope that an unbiased investigation is carried out and that the justice is meted out to the deserved.