Toxic Education Environment Kills Children: The Faridabad Student Suicide Case

We have been taught from a very young age about the role of teachers as well as the importance of schools in our lives. They are responsible for building a strong base for our future selves. However, this recent incident in Faridabad shows the contrary.

Delhi Public School, Faridabad

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Arvey Malhotra, a student of Class X from Delhi Public School Faridabad, committed suicide by jumping from the top floor of his residential building on February 24, 2022. According to his mother, he was frequently bullied and harassed by his classmates for his sexuality. The deceased was also allegedly sexually harassed in the school washroom. Arvey suffered from dyslexia, therefore he often faced difficulties in his academics. He was often verbally abused by the headmistress for supposedly taking “advantage of his disability”. Despite many complaints from Arvey and his mother, Aarti Malhotra, the authorities paid no heed to them. The constant homophobic and ableist remarks from his peers and teachers lead to his depression and ultimately, he ended up giving up his life. Even though he was getting treatment for his depression, the social exclusion and being picked on were something he could not handle.

The suicide note from Arvey also mentioned that he was bullied for his sexuality. The real problem was not the students being mean to the 15-year old but it was rather the school administration and faculty’s ignorance of the situation. Even after complaints from Arvey and his mother, the teachers and the principal in return harassed Aarti and threatened to not keep the boy in school from next year.

Arvey (on the left) alongside his mother (on the right)

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Arvey was a talented artist who took immense interest in making and wearing jewellery. Instead of being supportive and encouraging him, he was bullied and called ‘gay’ and ‘chakka’ (a derogatory term for someone who is not cis-gendered) by his peers.

This not only shows the lack of awareness in our educational system of our so-called “modern” world but also the backward and homophobic thinking of both the old and new generations. If our gurus, our teachers are not there to support us, then who is?

Schools are supposed to be a second home for students. However, if a student gets targeted for being themselves, is it right to say schools are a safe space for children? Is this the bitter truth of our education system that claims to be the best? It is the year 2022 and it is high time that we put a stop to this toxic education environment and ensure the safety of the future generation.

Authored By: Sehaj Kaur

Edited By: Pranamika Phukan