TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A male student in Taichung jumped from a fourth floor classroom in his school building on Monday (April 22) after months of bullying, breaking both legs.
Although the boy remains in hospital following surgery, doctors confirmed he did not sustain life-threatening injuries and ought to fully recover.
A family member of the boy explained the situation in a post on the Baoliao Commune (爆料公社) Facebook group. She said despite numerous appeals to teachers and the student council unit at Shuangshi Junior High School, little was done to contain the verbal harassment he experienced every day.
The boy’s aunt told Taiwan News that a group of students had been tormenting him for his stature and appearance, had accused him of being homosexual and had accused he and his parents of “having AIDS.”
She said he began experiencing harassment around December last year, and first reported it to teachers in March. After failing to receive protection and support from the school, he felt desperate, she said, and considered jumping as a way out.
The Facebook post penned by a relative of the boy suggested his mother tried to contact the school after he told her about the situation. The school did not answer her phone calls, it said, and moreover, when the boy visited his teacher’s office to follow up on the matter, the teacher told him his mother would need to report to the school in person, as his problem could not be resolved by the school alone.
“If this person explained to the student that, even in their capacity as a teacher, they had no power to stop the torture he was facing, what hope could such a young boy have for the world?” his family member wrote.
The boy’s family were further bewildered by the fact that his teacher did not accompany him to hospital, they added. A separate teacher who did not know his name was sent instead.
The next day, they wrote, the president of the school’s parent-teacher association visited the boy and his family in hospital and said they should declare his fall an accident if they want to make a successful insurance claim. He advised them not to mention the boy had been bullied.
The boy’s aunt told Taiwan News that the school denied he had reported his situation. The school principal was contacted by the Apple Daily for comment, and told reporters that the school has nothing to hide. Both internal and police investigations are underway, he said.
The school declined to comment when contacted by Taiwan News.