Primary 5 Pupil's Death Ruled As "A Deliberate Act Of Suicide" Caused By Parental Stress

The 11-year-old boy jumped from his bedroom window on the 17th floor.

Cover image via Shin Min Daily News

He had never done poorly in his examinations from Primary 1 to 4

He scored an average of about 70 marks, which was close to what his mother also expected him to score in each subject.

And if he didn't, his mother would cane his palm lightly, for every mark he fell short of her stipulated standard of 70 per cent.

But his Primary 5 results weren't what his mother would appreciate, add to that he failed two papers - Higher Chinese and mathematics

Out of 100 marks, the 11-year-old scored 50 in English, 53.8 in Chinese and 57.5 in science, faring poorly in Higher Chinese (12 marks) and mathematics (20.5 marks).

While students tend to see a dip in their results in Primary 5 because of changes in the exam format to prepare them for the Primary School Leaving Exam, the young boy, under pressure from his parents, was unable to fathom his poor performance.

In fact, while receiving his marks he was "visibly upset", according to his teacher.

Out of fear, he told his mother that his results were "average"

His mother, who had a practice of imposing corporal punishment on him, would also reward him when he did well. She would buy him gifts, etc.

For the mid-year exam this year, he had asked for a kite, and she bought one for him on 14 May, before the results were supposed to be out on 18 May when the exam papers were returned to the pupils for their parents to acknowledge.

He knew his partial results before 14 May, but told his mother they were "average".

Next day, 15 May, he went out to fly the kite with his father.

Then, on the morning of 18 May, the day he was to show his parents his mid-year exam results and was getting ready to go to school, his fear drove him to jump from his bedroom window on the 17th floor

His father had noticed that he was taking a longer time than usual to get ready for school. That's when his mother tried to open the bedroom door, but it was locked.

She then used a spare key to unlock it, and when they entered the room, the Primary 5 pupil was nowhere to be seen inside the room.

The couple looked out of the window and saw their son lying on a grass patch at the foot of their block at 470A Fernvale Link, Singapore.

He was pronounced dead by 7am that morning by a paramedic.

Image via tnp

According to reports, the mother, who was very emotionally unstable, was heard lamenting in Mandarin next to her son: "I only asked for 70 marks, I don't expect you to get 80 marks"

Image via straitstimes

The death of an 11-year-old boy, who fell 17 floors from his bedroom window on the day he was to show his parents his mid-year examination results, was found to be "a deliberate act of suicide" on Friday.

On Friday, 21 October, State Coroner Marvin Bay, told court, "He appeared to have difficulty in understanding and coming to terms with his precipitous fall in his grades. He appeared fearful of revealing his poor grades to his parents. In his desperation, he had woven a fictitious account of his grades to preserve an impression that he was coping well and attaining grades that conformed to their pre-set expectations. He had tragically taken his own life, rather than face the remainder of the day."

Bay urged parents and educators to remind children that "their efforts in the study may not always yield a commensurate result, and also that such failures are transient or temporary events", adding that "parents and educators should also constantly reassure them that they will always be there to help the child through each stumble, winding turn and setback in their education journey," reported The Straits Times.

The 11-year-old boy's death was ruled as "a deliberate act of suicide" caused by parental stress by State Coroner Marvin Bay on Friday

A few days ago, a 24-year-old woman's suicide was recognised as karoshi, meaning death from overwork. She killed herself last year.

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