Suicide of Hamed Nastoh

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Hamed Nastoh
Hamed Nastoh.png
School portrait of Hamed Nastoh
Born
Hamed Bismel Nastoh

December 18, 1985
Died (aged 14)
Cause of deathSuicide by jumping
Resting placeForest Lawn Memorial Park
Burnaby, British Columbia
ResidenceSurrey, British Columbia
NationalityCanadian
EducationEnver Creek Secondary School
OccupationStudent
Parent(s)Nasima Nastoh
Kirim Nastoh

Hamed Bismel Nastoh (December 18, 1985 – March 11, 2000)[2] was an Afghan-Canadian high school student who killed himself by jumping off the Pattullo Bridge due to bullying.

Early life[edit]

Hamed Nastoh attended Enver Creek Secondary School in Surrey, British Columbia, along with his brother Abdullah.[3] Nastoh was described as a smart student who liked horror movies, reading, dancing and music.[4] Nastoh, then 14 years old, was bullied in person.[5] In a note he mentions to his parents that high school was terrible for him, everyone in his school would call him gay, fag, queer, four-eyes and big-nose because his average grades were above 90 percent.[3][6][7][8][9] He left a suicide note saying “I hate myself for doing this to you,” he wrote to his parents. “I really, really hate myself, but there is no other way out.”[4]

The Nastoh family lived on 143rd Street in Surrey, around 10 kilometres away from the Pattullo Bridge, which spans the Fraser River and links Surrey and New Westminster.[4] At 5:00 pm, Nastoh's mother, father, and younger brother, David, went outside to hang out with a neighbour. Hamed and his older brother, Abdullah, were home during the night. One hour later, Abdullah took a shower. Hamed put on his new Tommy Hilfiger jacket, slipped out, and made his way, probably by bus, to the Pattullo.[4] When Nastoh arrived at the Pattullo Bridge he killed himself.[10][11]

Investigation[edit]

When Abdullah got out of the shower, he realized that Hamed had disappeared. He phoned his parents, and their father, Kirim, rushed home to investigate. On finding the note, he phoned the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.[4] Hamed never gave any hints about how he killed himself, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police searched around Nastoh's home.[4]

The day after, Police found his body all washed up in the Fraser River, just south from the Pattullo Bridge. He wore a blue Nike backpack which was heavy because there were so many rocks inside and he was good at swimming.[4] According to the coroner’s report, "They were unnecessary." Hamed Nastoh died from blunt trauma after his eye hit a big rock in the water at around 108 kilometres per hour.[4] The only mark noticeable was a minor scratch on his nose.[4]

A week before his death, Hamed had attended a suicide awareness talk at Enver Creek Secondary School, given by a mother who had lost her son. In his note, Hamed wrote that he’d given his parents a “hint” when he mentioned that the speaker had said that suicidal people give hints.[4][12]

Aftermath and impact on schools[edit]

Homosexuality issues high school course[edit]

Hamed's suicide from the Patullo Bridge made the Government of British Columbia to introduce the Grade 12 Homosexuality issues course. This course was developed in 2007 and is considered an elective course for Grade 12 high school students.[13]

This course was meant to prevent a trial in court before the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal, which made the agreement to listen to a gay couples complaints that secondary schools in British Columbia are blameworthy of prejudice by not talking about sexual identities as how the curriculum expects.[13]

As a comeback, the Liberal Party of Canada agreed with the Government of British Columbia in developing this course, which discusses the topic of tolerance, especially how it relates to sexual identities, ethnicity and race. 37 secondary schools in British Columbia that represent over 8,000 students, will not be enforced mandatorily of making this course of study available to the province.[13]

Hamed Nastoh’s Anti-Bullying Coalition[edit]

Hamed mentioned in his suicide note to go to all the secondary schools in Surrey. He wanted other students to know that all forms of bullying can have a bad impact on the victim. After death, listening to his message. Nasima formed Hamed Nastoh’s Anti-Bullying Coalition[4], which was targeted to show how much bullying there is in elementary school and high school and to give help to those parents who have children who are suffering from bullying.

She has used Hamed's suicide note and story to numerous Canadian schools and in 2001 she spread Hamed's story and message and has spoken to schools in Abbotsford, Hope, Mission, New Westminster, North Vancouver, Richmond, Surrey, Vancouver and Whistler.[14]

His mother states and her message is very clear and simple: "Suicide is not the solution." Using her sons suicide note to show how much bullying he suffered in high school before committing suicide, Nasima hopes to stand up and give support to kids and teenagers and the community to tell them that you are not the only one being affected and you don't have to undergo a position by you being the only one being bullied alone. Nasima said, "Seek help. If you don't talk about it nobody can hear," this shows that children and teenagers are afraid of having discussions about being bullied if they notify their parents or teachers. Nasima says that Hamed Nastoh's Anti-Bullying Coalition has given her confidence to overcome agony and misery.[14]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "I lost my son to bullying A mother's voice speaks out.pdf". Google Docs. Retrieved 2018-04-14.
  2. ^ "I Lost My Son to Bullying: A Mother's Voice Speaks Out", Teaching & Learning
  3. ^ a b "School teasing blamed in Surrey teen's suicide | CBC News". CBC. 2000-03-17. Archived from the original on 2018-08-14. Retrieved 2018-03-25.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Fatal Bridges - Vancouver Magazine". Vancouver Magazine. 2008-10-01. Archived from the original on 2018-02-24. Retrieved 2018-03-25.
  5. ^ Short, Donn (2013). "Don't be So Gay!": Queers, Bullying, and Making Schools Safe. UBC Press. ISBN 9780774823265.
  6. ^ Ray, Mark A. (2003). The Scoutmaster's Other Handbook: A Practical Guide to Managing a Troop, Maintaining Your Sanity, and Making a Difference. M. Ray. ISBN 9780965120739.
  7. ^ Fanny Kiefer (2011-02-23), Studio 4 with Fanny Kiefer: Nasima Nastoh on bullying and her son's suicide.Part 1 of 2, retrieved 2018-05-19
  8. ^ "The suicide note". Xtra. 2001-02-21. Retrieved 2018-05-21.
  9. ^ "BULLYING KILLS". Retrieved 2018-05-21.
  10. ^ Nastoh, Nasima (2004-01-01). "I Lost my Son to Bullying: A Mother's Voice Speak Out". Teaching and Learning. 1 (3). doi:10.26522/tl.v1i3.98. ISSN 1703-2598.
  11. ^ Marengere, Darry. "Gay Ottawa Now! - BC Teen Suicide Aftermath: Conflict Ensues Over Prevention". www.gayottawanow.com. Retrieved 2018-05-21.
  12. ^ Fanny Kiefer (2011-02-23), Studio 4 with Fanny Kiefer: Nasima Nastoh on bullying and her son's suicide. Part 2 of 2, retrieved 2018-05-19
  13. ^ a b c "A mother's six-year saga of sorrow". Retrieved 2018-08-14.
  14. ^ a b "School teasing blamed in Surrey teen's suicide". GEOCITIES.ws. 2000-03-17. Archived from the original on 2018-08-14. Retrieved 2018-08-14.

External links[edit]



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