Syrian refugee child commits suicide after constant bullying in Canada
A 9-year-old Syrian child, whose family had settled in Canada three years ago as refugees, has committed suicide last month after claims that she had been bullied constantly without any protection from the school has emerged.
Amal Alshteiwi’s body was found by her parents on the 6th of March in their home in Calgary, after what her parents are describing as intense bullying that led up to her death.
They were bulling her all the time, telling her, ‘you are ugly, you are not beautiful’…Two weeks before she moved from that school to another school, kids came to her and said, ‘Whereever you go, you better just go and kill yourself'”.
Nasra Abdulrahman, Amal’s mother
Despite changing schools because of the bullying she was receiving, Amal continued to suffer without any help from the school system. Her parents had reportedly gone to the school management numerous times, but teachers had failed to offer support or protection.
The Calgary Board of Education, however, issued a statement saying:
There was no indication of bullying nor was any concern raised to that school. The area office has worked closely with the school principal to gather information from teachers, staff, and students to try to understand if there were concerns or issues”.
Local police are also stating that there is not enough evidence for a criminal investigation into the matter.
Syrian refugee children are unfortunately no stranger to bullying across the world in the countries they resettle in. In February, two Syrian teenage girls were attacked in Berlin after a man shouting racist insults proceeded to punch them. In December of last year, a Syrian teenage girl in the U.S. suffered a concussion after being beaten by a fellow classmate in a high school bathroom, and in November a horrifying viral video showed a Syrian refugee student being beaten and waterboarded by classmates in the UK.
These sorts of attacks on Syrian refugees only highlights how dangerous the Islamophobic and anti-immigrant rhetoric by politicians are. With the rise of neo-nazi and neo-fascist movements and ideologies, the attacks on not only Muslims but also refugees are becoming increasingly dangerous and deadly.
We pray that Amal’s family find peace and strength.