Student was the third at the London Jewish school to commit suicide within four years.
Administrators at a UK Jewish school have come under scrutiny after a report indicated that staff instructed students to delete their social media accounts just days following the suicide of their classmate, who was reportedly severely bullied on the platforms.
Mariano Janin, whose 14-year-old daughter Mia was a student at the Jewish Free School (JFS) in North London, told British media that he believes cruel messages on social media may have “tipped her over the edge.”
JFS is the largest Jewish school in Europe, and Janin was the third student at the institution to commit suicide within a four year period.
An official publish inquiry into Janin’s death was launched earlier in 2022, but so far, the investigation has been slow-going.
In a hearing last week regarding the status of the inquest, investigators revealed that students at the school were made to delete their social media accounts just five days after Janin’s death in March 2021.
Requests to social media companies for records of those conversations and interactions have gone unanswered, so investigators have been unable to analyze or review the messages that likely would have identified which students had tormented Janin.
“This whole experience has been a nightmare that is too horrible to explain,” Janin told British daily The Times.
“Every day feels like I’m living in slow motion. Parents with information – please take it to the coroner. We need to know what happened for the sake of other children and also for Mia. Do not close ranks.”
Other relatives of Janin blasted the school on social media for looking the other way regarding bullying on campus, charging that the institution had failed to maintain a safe environment for students.
“Mia was pushed out of the edge of life by the hatred and cruelty of many of her peers, following her return to school after three months of lockdown,” wrote Lucio Neumann, her uncle, on Facebook last week.
“Bullying is a serious social disease, which always leaves scars in the victims. In extreme cases, when school authorities do not assume their duty of care, bullying kills.”
“Mia’s Grandfather, Sandor Neumann, was the only Holocaust survivor of a family who had lived for more than 300 years in the city of Papa, in Hungary, prior to being exterminated by the Nazis. Mia’s unjust death, in addition to truncating a young and promising life, generates unbearable pain for all of us.”
Mia’s mother, Marissa, died just months after her daughter due to a form of aggressive, sudden onset cancer, according to the Jewish News. They are buried alongside each other on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.
Notably, British educational regulator Ofsted conducted an emergency investigation of JFS shortly after Janin’s suicide and downgraded its rating from “good” to “unsatisfactory,” finding that the school did not properly intervene or attempt to mitigate rampant bullying and sexual harassment between students.
(World Israel News).