Vosges: a 13-year-old teenager commits suicide against a background of school harassment

Melina Facchin
modified to

7:42 p.m., January 12, 2023

An investigation into harassment of a minor under the age of fifteen was opened after the suicide of a 13-year-old teenager in Golbey on Saturday, the Epinal prosecution announced on Thursday. The relatives denounced in their hearings “acts of harassment committed by students of his college, because of his homosexuality, for several months”.

This is a new tragedy possibly linked to school bullying, even if caution is in order on Thursday evening. In Golbey, in the Vosges, a 13-year-old teenager committed suicide at home last Saturday. His family explains that he was the recurring target of several of his comrades, in particular because of his homosexuality. An investigation has been opened to try to determine if there is indeed a causal link between these “mockery” and the tragic suicide of the teenager.

Victim of alleged “mockery” because of his homosexuality

Lucas, 13, allegedly ended his life last Saturday at his home because he was bullied at college because of his homosexuality. In any case, this is what the relatives of this Vosges teenager said during their hearing, explains the prosecutor of Epinal in a press release. Since the start of the school year in September, they say, this 4th grade student “was the subject of “mockery”. His parents never filed a complaint, but the National Education was notified and the rectorate ensures that the boy’s college has immediately took the matter seriously”.

A preliminary investigation for “harassment committed on a minor under the age of 15 has been opened”, entrusted to the Epinal police. The autopsy performed this Wednesday, January 11 confirms the thesis of suicide. But we must remain very careful: for the moment, the link between harassment and suicide has not been proven.

“No child should find suicide as the ultimate outcome”

In the college of this 13-year-old boy, a psychological unit was set up on Monday. The Academy and the rectorate express their strong “emotion”, “upset by this dramatic event”. The Minister of National Education, Pap Ndiaye, also reacted on Twitter. “I think of all the students like him, harassed,” he wrote. “No child should find suicide as the ultimate outcome”.

Lucas’ funeral will take place on Saturday January 14, in Epinal. His family invites everyone who attends to display an LGBT sign in tribute.

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