Teen dies after being ‘picked on’


August 12, 2018 9:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Judy David and her neighbour, Vanessa Naidoo, want justice for Matthew Joash David, who committed suicide after ‘gay’ and ‘pervert’ slurs.
Durban – A Chatsworth pupil is thought to have taken his own life after ­allegedly being picked on for his hairstyle, accused of using drugs, and being sent home.

The death of 17-year-old Matthew Joash David last Tuesday has devastated and outraged his family.

Judy David, a 55-year-old mother of three, said her youngest child had hanged himself with his school tie.

David said they had been ­returning from what seemed like a disciplinary hearing at Matthew’s school, where she had initially gone to collect his second term report.

“We had just jumped off the taxi and he was walking fast. I told him to continue as I walk slowly.

“When I got to our home, I saw the gate was locked and the door closed, and when I looked through the glass of the door, I saw the house keys on top of the TV stand, and our dog was barking and running around frantically,” David told POST yesterday.

“I called for the neighbours, who came running with a ladder, but it was too late, my child was gone.”

David said she and Matthew had gone to his school earlier that morning to collect his report, but were instead faced with an impromptu hearing.

“We waited for more than two hours outside the principal’s office, and when we went in, the deputy principal, a governing body member and a teacher were inside.

“They began picking on my child. They called him a pervert, said he looked gay because of his hairstyle and that he had been caught smoking and was even taking drugs, without any proof, and that they no longer wanted him in the school,” she said.

When Matthew tried to ­defend himself, he was told to “shut up”, she said.

“My child put his two hands together and was begging them to give him another chance, but they refused and gave me a letter for him to see a social worker for treatment for his ‘problems’ the next day.

“But it never came, as he took his own life. He was in too much pain.

“All we want now is justice, and for other children to not be put in the same situation and feel they have no escape besides taking their own life,” she said.

The principal said he was not allowed to speak to the media.

The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education sent its condolences to Matthew’s family and friends.

The department said they would be “engaging” the Department of Social Development to provide professional therapy to all those affected.

“A report of what actually happened will shed some light on these allegations, and there will have to be fact-findings before we investigate,” said spokesperson Kwazi Mthethwa.

Police confirmed an ­inquest would be held.

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