A 17-year-old high school girl in the New York City committed suicide on Thursday after being bullied by classmates at the Manhattan Village Academy.
Aileen Jiminian slipped out of the school campus in Flatiron during lunch break and killed herself by stepping into the path of a subway train.
The teenager was a semi-finalist of the 2016 New York Times College Scholarship. She also had a twin sister who goes to the same school.
“She wasn’t in my grade, but I know that other kids would pick on her,” the New York Post quoted a student as saying on Monday. “It’s really sad. She would get called stupid or ugly or awkward. Some kids are just really mean.”
According to a source at the school, several students went to the school’s grief counsellor and said they were upset with themselves on how they treated her.
“Some of the students were feeling guilty because they were so mean to her,” the source said.
The students were, reportedly, asked by the school’s staff to not discuss the incident and to consider it as an accident. The school sent a letter to the students’ families informing of her sudden death, the Mail Online reported.
“This loss of Aileen is sure to raise many emotions, concerns, and questions for our entire school, especially our students,” read the letter, which was signed by Hector Geager, the school’s principal.
The letter requested parents to ask their children not to post anything on Jiminian online.
“I am deeply saddened by the tragic loss of one of our students and my heart breaks for her family and the entire school community at Manhattan Village Academy,” Carmen Fariña, the schools Chancellor, said in a statement. “We are working closely with the school to provide crisis resources to support and comfort those grieving during this very difficult time.”