Pupil, 15, hangs himself after learning of exam failure

suicide South Africa – An inconsolable Pietermaritzburg mother yesterday regretted taking her son’s report card home.

The 15-year-old Northdale pupil was found hanged in his room hours after learning that he had failed his Grade 10 examination, timeslive reports.

“I keep asking myself why he took his own life. I can’t stop asking myself what would have happened had he had not seen the report yesterday. I can’t stop wondering why my son did this,” said the mother, who did not want to be named.

“He was such a lovely child. I never thought he would do something like this.”

She joins thousands of South African mothers who, year after year, search frantically for answers to why their teenagers chose suicide.

The mother said it was harder for her to understand what was going through her son’s mind because he had previously failed a grade.

“I cut the rope and I held his body in my arms. We rushed him to hospital but it was too late.”

The SA Depression and Anxiety Group’s spokesman, Janine Shamos, said about 5000 teenagers commit suicide in South Africa every year.

A recent National Youth Risk Survey has revealed that 9.5% of all teen deaths in South Africa are due to suicide.

“Failure at school is a major cause of teenage suicide,” Shamos said.

She said parents should be vigilantwhen school exam results are released and encourage their children to speak to them about anything, including failure, well ahead of the release of school results.

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