– Boy, 16, embarrassed by principal over ‘friendship’ with teacher
A 16-year-old fifth form student of the West Coast Demerara “Swami” school committed suicide a day before his parents
were expected to meet with the principal over his expulsion.
Dead is Alex Persaud of 18 Stewartville, West Coast Demerara.
The boy bought the gramoxone herbicide at a shop nearby his home two Mondays ago and succumbed last Friday. He was buried on Monday.
The teenager was said to be involved with an 18-year-old Information Technology teacher at the Saraswati Vidya Niketan Secondary School at Cornelia Ida. Persaud was in his third year at the school after being transferred from the Zeeburg Secondary School, also on the West Coast.
Just before the incident, the boy told his parents that the Founder and Principal Swami Aksharananda had ordered him home, but did not give details why.
Aksharandanda had asked both parents to come to the school to discuss a matter regarding the boy. When the father alone turned up, he was told to return to the school the following Tuesday with his wife. However, that meeting never took place, as Persaud ingested the poison the day before.
On his hospital bed, the child is reported to have told his mother that he did not want to go back to the school. He had earlier indicated to his parents that the Swami publicly embarrasses the students.
There are reports that the teacher with whom the boy was said to be involved was dismissed from the school. She only graduated last year.
Texts between the teacher and Persaud did not reveal any romantic indications, just messages about where they were or what they were doing.
The boy’s mother, Monica Sirichand and his grandmother, could not say with certainty whether the planned meeting with the Swami was intended to discuss his friendship with the teacher.
“We don’t know if Alex was upset with anything or what,” Sheila Persaud, the grandmother said.
She said that all she knew was that the Principal wanted to talk with the boy’s parents. As she lived in the same house, the grandmother said she was close to Persaud and that he would tell her anything, but in this case he said nothing.
Just before the incident, Persaud was preparing to attend a wedding and was getting his suit ready for the occasion. The family exchanged light banter among themselves, and so the grandmother said they did not think the boy was upset about anything.
Mrs. Sirichand said that all the boy mentioned to her was about him being told by the Principal to pack his bags and leave and that they (the parents) were to go meet with him (the Principal).
Several of the boy’s friends, who spoke anonymously, were upset at the way the school has treated the incident.
Most of the students have created fake profiles on the social network Facebook and have been expressing frustration.
“(The) laugh is at GuyExpo the school had big suicide booth forcing we and the teachers to take part and week after we friend dead,” said one student.
Students said that they were initially not being allowed to attend the funeral, but when they started to cry, they were eventually given permission.
Students were also upset that at the school’s graduation on Sunday a minute of silence was not observed in memory of their friend. The school yesterday confirmed that Persaud was expelled from the school, but denied that he was humiliated by Swami Aksharananda.
Further, regarding the IT teacher, the school denied that she was fired; only saying that “she never returned.”
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