Internal probe on teacher in ‘stolen’ iPhone case complete

jamil-vasanthaGEORGE TOWN: A joint-probe by the Penang education department and the South Seberang Perai district education office (PPD) on a teacher who accused a teen of stealing her phone has been completed.

State education department deputy director Mohd Jamil Mohamed said their internal investigation papers would be passed to the education ministry, along with recommendations on any action to be taken.

“The teacher is still at the PPD. The investigation process is complete. We have included our recommended action and this has been escalated to the ministry for follow-up,” he told FMT.

Jamil had previously said the department had transferred the teacher from SMK Methodist Nibong Tebal to desk duties at the PPD while an internal probe was ongoing.

The teacher in question had allegedly accused M Vasanthapiriya, 13, of stealing her iPhone 6 mobile phone two weeks ago.

The teen then attempted to take her life by hanging herself at home, leaving a suicide note stating that she did not take the teacher’s phone.

She died earlier today after spending slightly over a week in the intensive care unit at the Seberang Jaya Hospital, in a brain-dead state.

The investigation into her death is now two-pronged, with Penang police promising to probe all sides and the education department vowing to find out if any standard operating procedures were violated.

Earlier today, Deputy Education Minister II P Kamalanathan said the case was “top priority” and assured justice would be done without fear or favour.

In the Jan 17 incident, the teacher in her 40s was alleged to have confined Vasanthapiriya at her office, where she was joined by two other teachers.

The girl was allegedly berated and threatened to be reported to the police if she did not own up. Later, she was confined in a room for nearly five hours without a break.

The accuser then drove her back to her home and met her parents. As the parents stepped out with the accuser and her husband, Vasanthapiriya hung herself with a shawl in her room.

She also left a note saying: “I did not steal your phone, teacher.”

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