Teacher on social media trial

A TEACHER from a prominent all-girl school in Lautoka has been subjected to death threats on social media platforms following the alleged suicide of a student and police have warned that anyone involved in this illegal activity will be taken to task.

“We would like to reiterate the need for people to allow investigators to conduct an objective investigation,” said police spokesperson Ana Naisoro.

“The cyber-crimes unit will investigate any threats on social media platforms or otherwise directed to anyone involved in this incident.”

Along with the warning from police comes a plea from Opposition Leader Ro Teimumu Kepa for everyone dealing with the aftermath of the alleged suicide death of Navneeta Devi to exercise restraint.

“At this time people’s efforts and concerns should be directed towards supporting the family of Navneeta as they try to cope with this awful tragedy,” Ro Teimumu said.

Education Minister Dr Mahendra Reddy met with Navneeta’s family last night and reassured them that the ministry was undertaking its own detailed investigation.

“We are very particular about the professional conduct of our staff. There is a code of conduct and we expect our staff to adhere by this at all times,” he said last night.

Citing a 2010 Fiji Global School-based Student Health Survey which revealed that 42 per cent of students in the country were subject to bullying at the time of the study, Ro Teimumu said it was important those affected sought counselling.

“All schoolchildren, teachers and parents affected by this tragic event should seek counselling.

“I call on the Education Ministry and schools to help facilitate this so that it can help the family and community better deal with the circumstances of Navneeta’s death.”

Ro Teimumu said counselling was an effective way for people to better cope with traumatic situations but many people did not seek counselling because they associated it with mental disorder.

Her comments came in the wake of a torrent of verbal abuse and death threats on social media platforms against a teacher who was accused by the deceased’s family and on social media of involvement in the incident.

Former students of the prominent all-girl school in Lautoka which Ms Devi attended, and outraged members of the public have gone into overdrive with derogatory comments on popular social media platform, Facebook.

Meanwhile, police have urged members of the public not to have preconceived ideas or to blame other parties in relation to the alleged suicide of the 18-year-old Teidamu resident.

Ms Naisoro said police had recorded the statements of a number of people in relation to the incident.

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