After help pleas ignored, bullied student drinks pesticide

Thanamalar blames herself for not taking action against her son's school bullies — Picture by Razak Ghazali
Thanamalar blames herself for not taking action against her son's school bullies — Picture by Razak Ghazali

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KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 10 — AN SMK Bandar Rinching schoolboy took his own life by drinking pesticide at his home in Bandar Rinching on Friday, after he was bullied by his peers.

Form One student T. Kavinraj, 12, was taunted about his deceased father, physically abused, and even had his shorts pulled down in front of other students, said his family members.

His father P. Thangavelu died from stroke early last year, leaving his mother B. Thanamalar to support himself and his three other siblings.

Kavinraj’s uncle D. Saambha Shevam, 49, said his nephew had been complaining about the bullying since the new school term started last month.

“He was a quiet boy but over the past two weeks, he kept asking us to go to the school and talk to the bullies,” said Saambha, a lorry driver.

“We wanted to take action but we thought it would only make things worse as his peers would see him as a little boy who runs to his parents to solve his problems.”

According to Saambha, Kavinraj complained one of the bullies brought his brother to threaten him if he reported the matter to his family members or to the school authorities.

Kavinraj had reported the constant bullying to a teacher and the family had also planned to confront the bullies.

However, Kavinraj, who was a school prefect, drank a bottle of pesticide after lunch with his family on Friday.

“He said he was going to wash his hands but came out and told me he had drank the pesticide,” said Thanamalar, 43.

“I rushed him to the nearest clinic. As the doctor held his hand, Kavinraj said nobody understood his pain of being constantly taunted about his dead father.”

Thanamalar added her son was a quiet and studious boy who loved reading.

“He would often visit the nearest book store. He was a prefect in primary school. He was made prefect in the secondary school recently as I did not provide his photo for the application form in time. During the waiting period, the bullies made fun of Kavinraj, saying he was not made a prefect because he was stupid.”

Thanamalar said she hoped the school authorities would act accordingly to ensure the bullies did not pick on other students.

“I don’t want any other parents to go through what I did. I lost my son to bullies, and there’s nothing these boys can do to bring my son back.”

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