Racial abuse in a Tel Aviv primary school led a 6-year-old to attempt to take her own life, Mynet reported Sunday. Earlier this month she sustained light injuries as a result of self-inflicted cuts on her forearms.
"My daughter suffered grave verbal abuse since the start of the school year," the girl's mother said. "The small children tease her, call her 'kushit' (a derogatory Hebrew term for a black person, equivalent to the N-word) 'Sudanese,' wish death upon her and her family, tell her to get out of this country and so on.
- Girl knocks racial exclusion in city booklet
- 5 suspected of racist attack against Ethiopians
- Violence, racism on board school bus
I spoke to her teacher," the mother added; "we have involved professionals, but to no avail. Last week she took scissors and cut her own hand. She wept and told me 'mom, I can't take it anymore. They bully me."
"I told the school staff that she is socially excluded, that she's playing alone, rejected and humiliated as though she were a leper, but nothing is done. The kids tell her 'we don't play with kushim,' and 'we're allergic to kushim.' She broke down."
A few weeks ago the mother wrote a letter to primary education officials, saying "the girl who was full of motivation and joy has lost her confidence and became lonely, wounded, suspicious and manipulative."
Following this, the school principal sought the advice of a family doctor who treated the child, telling him in a letter that the girl was "in a difficult psychological condition, exhibiting patterns of suicidal behavior: she put nylon bags on her head and when we tried to stop her she ran away. She is violent toward the staff and other children; she crawls on the floor and speaks in baby voice."
She added the school will not be able to let her continue her study without a psychiatric evaluation. A psychiatrist who examined the girl said it was crucial the racist abuse was dealt with immediately.
An Education Ministry spokesperson said in a statement that "a group of students indeed had bullied the girl at the start of the school year, yet the quick intervention of the school principal brought the phenomenon to a halt shortly and since that time and until today the student has not been abused and humiliated by her schoolmates. The student suffers from sensitive social and emotional problems that influence her irregular behavior. Those patterns of behavior are taken care of by the school staff."
- Receive Ynetnews updates
directly to your desktop