grieving pair of parents have blamed their 15-year-old son’s suicide on his school, claiming that his death came because he was forced into getting a bad haircut by his teacher.
The parents of Bi Xiaoli say that the boy was taken to a hair salon by his middle school teacher on October 22nd where his head was shaved. After that, Bi refused to return to school, too embarrassed by how he looked, the parents allege, according to a local news report.
10 days after his haircut, on November 2nd, Bi jumped to his death from his residential building in Xi’an.
Meanwhile, the school tells a different story, claiming that the teacher had secured the permission of both Bi and his parents before taking Bi to the hairdresser where he was given a “close-cropped haircut” — rather than having his head shaved. The school also claims that neither Bi nor his parents complained to the school following the haircut.
However, text messages from Bi to his friends reveal how thoroughly humiliated the teen was about his new haircut, writing just one day afterward to them that he wouldn’t be returning to school until the teacher was dead. At the same time, Bi’s parents were texting with the teacher, trying to figure out how to get the kid to come back to school.
Additionally, a photo of Bi sitting on his bed with his face turned away from the camera shows that his head had indeed been shaved.
The school had offered Bi’s parents 100,000 yuan ($14,000) in “humanitarian” compensation while admitting no wrongdoing in the matter. However, the couple turned that offer down and are reportedly asking for 1.2 million yuan ($172,000) in compensation. In response, the school has threatened to file a lawsuit against the parents for the damage done to its reputation.
Police are investigating the cause of Bi’s death. It’s not clear why the teacher made Bi get a haircut.
– Do not leave the person alone
– Remove any sharp objects, alcohol, drugs or firearms that could be used in a suicide attempt
– Take the person to an emergency room or seek help from a medical or mental health professional
– Call the following hotlines for help: Lifeline Shanghai: 021-6279-8990 (English speakers; 10am – 10pm daily); HopeLine: 4001619995 (Chinese speakers; 24/7 toll-free access)