A young transgender pupil in Pretoria has attempted suicide after he was abused by his schoolmates.
Activists from Transgender and Intersex Africa (TIA) have reported that Tshepo (not his real name) has been targeted by his fellow pupils, and their older friends who are not pupils at the school.
They tried to disrobe him, threatened him, posed uncomfortable questions and suggested that Tshepo’s gender expression existed because he is afraid to sleep with men.
According to TIA, since the incidents took place, Tshepo has been absent from school as he feels that he is not safe, and has even attempted suicide.
In a heartbreaking note that he left for his mother before attempting to overdose on pills, Tshepo wrote: “I feel so small. I just want to die and get over this.”
“School is a place thought to be safe but in his case it has become a place of fear,” commented the organisation.
His mother, Kedibone, claims that the school principal has not acknowledged the seriousness of the matter and has not offered any aid for her child.
The series of events occurred on the premises of Pretoria Central High School, which states as one of its mission statements that it aims to “promote values like mutual respect for one another’s right to religious conviction, expression and association.”
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