Bullied student who took own life memorialized at school
Grotius College in Heerlen held a memorial for 15-year-old student Tharukshan Selvam on Friday morning. The bullied Sri Lankan boy committed suicide last weekend.
Hundreds of students attended the memorial, according to newspaper AD. Students were given the chance to sing songs and read quotes or poems. Afterwards white balloons with messages to Tharukshan were released into the air.
Tharukshan's family also attended the memorial, though they initially said the wouldn't. On Thursday the family said they'd avoid the memorial as it was being held at the school where Tharukshan was continually bullied.
"We are very glad that they were there", Frank Schings, director of the school organization under which Grotius college falls, said, according to RTL Nieuws. Two school employees went to talk to the family after the memorial, to find out whether the school can play a role in Tharukshan's cremation on Monday. "From Tuesday we want to return to our normal school rhythm as quickly as possible. Then the first, wrong emotions will hopefully also disappear a bit."
Tharukshan's chair at school will remain empty for the rest of the year, Schings said. The school want's to make sure that he isn't "forgotten tomorrow".
Grotius College also called in aid workers to help students and teachers process the death. "You constantly keep switching between sadness, dejection and asking why", Schings said to newspaper AD.
The police are also providing extra security to the school. This is because board members, teachers and a number of students blamed on social media for bullying Tharukshan are receiving threats.