Trigger warning: This report has details of suicide that some readers may find disturbing
A young boy who was plagued with constant bullying and harrassment by his peers took the extreme decision to end his own life in a tragic turn of events. According to the Daily Mail, 14-year-old Pierre DaCosta Noble, a French-born student hung himself at the prestigious Windermere school in England, on 9 November, 2019.
The incident occurred after the student was deeply distressed by his classmates who smeared feces on his pillow. Meanwhile, the investigation revealed another incident where the student was left humiliated by his classmates. Noble had feces smeared on the inside of his shoes on an earlier date.
The student who joined the renowned institution in Spring 2019 told his close friends that he was having a hard time at school.
Referring to him as a “model student,” the teachers said they did not know why he was targeted by his peers. According to them, he was liked by his schoolmates. “We found it odd that he was targeted as he was well-liked. Someone had put excrement in his boot and smeared it on the inside of his pillow,” said Paul Ainsworth, a physics teacher and house-master of Pierre.
Speaking of the incident, Ainsworth said Noble was missing during bedtime. Ainsworth found that the teenager had signed out after a meeting around 8 p.m. However, Noble did not return. With nothing out of the ordinary, Ainsworth thought that the student was out at a friend’s block or speaking to his parents. Additionally, the teacher sent out senior students to search for the boy.
The events that followed were unexpected. The two senior boys returned to the teacher with devastating and shocking news. The boy was hanging in his room. Immediately, Ainsworth called for emergency services. The teacher even tried to resuscitate Noble but luck was not in their favor.
Noble was declared dead after being taken to Royal Lancaster Infirmary. Meanwhile, according to the school protocols, Ainsworth was supposed to raise an alarm in case of a missing case. But considering the teenager’s tough week and the events he had to face, the teacher decided to go against it. Joanna Parry, the deputy head of pastoral care at Windermere School supported Ainsworth’s decision. Parry stated, “I believe he made a good decision. He did not know what the students were going to find when they went out.”
The initial investigation launched claimed the feces incident was not the reason for the death. However, the investigation that followed stated that the drastic step by the teenager was, indeed, motivated by the bullying incident. Noble was deeply affected by the event. “It is clear what his intentions were. It is my conclusion that Pierre did deliberately intend to take his own life,” said the coroner, according to Daily Mail.
Speaking of the initial investigation, Jennifer Davies, Head of Safeguarding at Windermere School, admitted that it failed to identify the key issues that pushed the Noble to this extreme measure.
The school authorities also said that they should have intervened before it escalated to this level. Headteacher Ian Lavender said he did not reach out to Noble regarding the incident. He also pointed out that the system was structured to have other staff members intervene in such issues before it reached him. “I deeply regret that I did not get involved with the matter sooner,” said the headteacher.
If you or someone you know needs help, please reach out to someone you know or call 1-800-273-8255, National Suicide Prevention Helpline (USA)