St Teresa's School mourns death of Johannesburg pupil, another in hospital

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St Teresa's School. Google© Streetview, Google Maps, taken 2021, accessed 2022.
St Teresa's School. Google© Streetview, Google Maps, taken 2021, accessed 2022.

WARNING: This article discusses suicide.

  • A Grade 8 pupil at St Teresa's School died on Monday.
  • Another pupil is recovering in hospital. 
  • The school says staff and pupils have received counselling following the incident. 

A top Johannesburg private girls' school community was left devastated after one pupil died and another was left recovering in hospital.

One girl from St Teresa's School in Rosebank died after taking her life on Monday.

A fellow pupil was admitted to hospital following the incident. 

In a statement to News24, the school said: "The St Teresa's School community is devastated by the tragic events that occurred at our school on Monday, 19 September 2022, where an isolated incident led to one of our Grade 8 pupils passing away and a second Grade 8 pupil being injured.

"We ask the school community and public to pray for the families affected by this tragedy and to respect the privacy of the parents and families of these children." 

The school added that they were investigating the matter to understand what happened.

READ | Council probing allegations that Soweto pupil killed himself after teacher mocked him

"This is an incredibly serious matter, and we are treating it with the utmost importance.

"While our school community comes together during this time, we must not forget that our families, staff and communities everywhere have been through an incredibly difficult period in the world.

"We know our children have been deeply affected by the challenges of economic and political uncertainty, the mental health fallout as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, and our own unique challenges in South Africa - the effects of which resonate both at school and at home.

"Every single one of our learners is crucial to our school. The mental, physical and emotional health of our pupils has always been and will continue to be a priority for our staff, our senior management team, our board and the Sisters of Mercy," they said.

The school added:

We will continue to engage with our pupils, parents and staff in a meaningful way. This is when we need to come together as a school, community and society.

The school thanked psychologists from St David's Marist Inanda, Roedean School for Girls, Kingsmead College and De La Salle Holy Cross College for their counselling services. 

In a statement to its parents this week, Kingsmead College said: "We keep St Teresa's community in our thoughts and prayers at this most devastating time." 

The school said counselling was available for the girls.

"Please keep an eye out for your daughters and please let us know if any of them or yourselves require support and we will immediately arrange it." 

If you or someone you know is struggling at the moment or may be at risk of suicide, reach out to The South African Depression and Anxiety Group’s 24-hour hotline on 0800 21 22 23 or 0800 456 789. 

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