Teacher in Vasanthapiriya’s suicide case gets death threats

harry-tan-nutp-case-1KUALA LUMPUR: The teacher who accused 13-year-old M Vasanthapiriya of stealing her phone is now living in fear after receiving death threats and hate messages.

Some netizens had also shared her picture on social media, a report in The Star Online said.

Commenting on the threats, National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) secretary-general Harry Tan urged the public to let justice run its course, adding that both the teacher and her husband were members of the union.

“We’ve met with them and they’ve given their side of the story.

“They have lodged a police report and given their full cooperation to investigators.

“Please stop hurling abuses at them and making threats. Some have even shared the teacher’s photo on social media, which is very traumatic for the family,” Tan was quoted as saying.

Vasanthapiriya’s parents previously claimed that she was confined for five hours without food or a bathroom break, after a female teacher accused the Form 2 student of SMK Methodist in Nibong Tebal, Penang, of stealing her iPhone.

In their police report, Vasanthapiriya’s parents claimed that the teacher and her husband had brought their daughter home, threatening to take her to the police if she did not admit to the alleged theft.

The teen ran up to her room, while her parents and the accuser left “to sort things out”. It was then that Vasanthapiriya attempted to take her life.

When they returned home, Vasanthapiriya’s father broke into her room after repeated calls went unanswered, and found her hanging by a shawl tied to an air-conditioning pipe, unconscious but alive.

The girl also left a suicide note written on a torn page of her school exercise book, denying that she stole the phone.

She died on Feb 1 after slipping into a coma.

Tan said NUTP was deeply saddened by Vasanthapiriya’s death and would provide “full assistance” to ensure justice for all parties.

He also advised the union’s 200,000 members to adhere to schools’ standard operating procedure (SOP) when dealing with a problem.

“Record every single detail and inform your superiors,” he added.

According to police, the missing handphone has not been found despite reports to the contrary.

South Seberang Prai OCPD Supt Shafee Abdul Samad said police had recorded statements from 24 people, including the 46-year-old teacher and her 48-year-old husband.

Shafee added that six police reports had been lodged about the case, including two from the teacher.

“The teacher lodged a report denying her phone had been found, and another report was about her feeling embarrassed after the incident went viral on social media,” he told reporters yesterday.

Shafee previously said police had wrapped up investigations and the case had been referred to the deputy public prosecutor’s office.

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