Teenager suicide linked to bullying and racism

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The inquest into the death of a 16-year-old high school girl has uncovered that she hung herself in the school restroom after repeated incidents of bullying, including racist taunts.

Dagmara Przybysz was found in the restroom at Pool Academy in Redruth, a town in Cornwall, England. Her mother, Ewelina, reported to the court that her daughter had been bullied by fellow female students at the school.

Dagmara, a Polish national, had been living in England for nine years, but girls in the school would taunt her about her nationality and race, saying “go back to your own country” and calling her a “stupid Pole”.

Ewelina reports that those racist comments and other name calling caused Dagmara to become hurt and angry. The day before her death at school, Dagmara had punched a wall during a PE lesson. She reported to school officials that she’d been angered by some of the other girls laughing at her. Dagmara did enough damage to her hand that her uncle took her to the emergency room for treatment.

On the morning of the tragedy, Dagmara told the same uncle that she’d taken pills. When her parents found no indication of this, they reportedly sent her to school.

Susan Kent, a Pool Academy support worker, told the court that she could not recall Dagmara reporting “any problems with racism” to a school officials.

There were other other stressful situations for Dagmara to navigate, including fears over passing her exams, concerns that she may have dyslexia and the fact that the majority of her friends went to a different school.

Dagmara had been accepted to study photography at Truro College, and her mother reports she had been preparing for prom, before she took the drastic steps.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that suicide is the second leading cause of death for people under 25 years old. Experts suggest parents become familiar with the warning signs of suicidal thoughts, and that schools address bullying.

The inquest into Dagmara’s death continues.

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