16 Year Old Child Loses His Life To Ableism And Homophobia At DPS Faridabad

The student succumbed to homophobic harassment and ableism he had been facing for a while at school on Wednesday.

TW: Mention of suicide, sexual assault, description of systemic ableism,

“This school has killed me. Specially higher authorities… tell ninna and bade papa about my sexuality and whatever happened with me. And please try to handle them… You are wonderful, strong, beautiful and amazing. Don’t care what relatives say…” reads a suicide note written by a 16-year-old student of DPS Faridabad. The student succumbed to homophobic harassment and ableism he had been facing for a while at school on Wednesday. The note describes several incidents of the school overlooking incidents such as a science teacher refusing assistance and academic aid he needed to perform well, given his dyslexia.

Student’s mother has since pointed out that her child was also sexually assaulted on the school campus.

Social media has been abuzz since the news came out with people demanding action by the school. Several users also call out the government’s failures in being able to foster an affirming environment for queer children. People point out how dropping the sensitisation manual from the curriculum by NCERT was a step in the wrong direction.

Read: Why the Transgender Inclusion Guide by NCERT was Pulled Down

The school authority’s response has been less than satisfactory. They claim that no harassment happened in the school and term every complaint mentioned in the suicide note as a personal issue of the late student.

The response does not even address the incident of ableist harassment perpetuated by a teacher and instead says that the student merely struggled to get a scribe.

The ableism faced by the student has mostly gone unnoticed by everyone, including those expressing their outrage online. Studies have shown that adolescents with dyslexia are three times more likely to try killing themselves than their peers. The note says that the child was trying to seek help with numericals in his science paper from his teacher when she accused him of unfairly leveraging his disability. This narrative has been long used to gaslight disabled people asking for bare minimum assistance in order to perform basic tasks in day-to-day life.

The incident is part of a long line of issues raised about the Indian schooling system, wherein it has failed a capable student full of life, simply because they didn’t fit the existing norm and the school authorities couldn’t be bothered to make educational spaces livable for them.

One thought on “16 Year Old Child Loses His Life To Ableism And Homophobia At DPS Faridabad

  1. I had very little to no knowledge about the lgbtq+ community till my 10th grade. I used to think it was very unusual, unnatural and dirty to be gay or lesbian or anything other than straight. This was until I watched grey’s anatomy (an eye opener) and learnt that it was the most beautiful thing ever. I learnt that love is not about a penis and a vagina or a couple’s ability to procreate. It’s about two people getting to know each other and appreciating each other for who and whatever they are. I learnt it all on my own and never had anyone teach me in school. But, I remember bullying this one guy (I don’t want to out him coz I don’t know if he is out yet) and I HATE myself for doing that. At that time, I didn’t realise what I was doing was wrong because I was taught/told that being anything other than straight was shameful.
    I strongly believe that the kids should be taught about it from early stages so that people make real progress and life can be saved. If I ever find the guy, I would really like an opportunity to apologize.

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Shivangi is a writer, poet, political activist, and a student of English Literature in Delhi. She writes primarily in Hindi and Bhojpuri and occasionally experiments with English and Urdu.
Shivangi Pandey

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