Home News NC dept feels ‘betrayed’by pupil’s ‘untimely death’

NC dept feels ‘betrayed’by pupil’s ‘untimely death’

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Reen still had so much to offer and had his whole life ahead of him

LOSS: Devastated family members of Elginnin Reen after his body was removed from their home in Greenpoint on Saturday. Picture: Soraya Crowie

THE NORTHERN Cape Department of Education said yesterday that it “felt betrayed” by the “untimely death” of a Grade 11 pupil from Greenpoint High School in Kimberley, who committed suicide by hanging himself on the weekend.

Elginnin Reen, 20, was found hanging from the roof of a room in the house he shared with his aunt, Charmaine Jaars, at around 1pm on Saturday.

According to friends and family members, Reen had given no indication that he was unhappy about anything prior to the suicide and was described as “upbeat, friendly and full of jokes”.

Northern Cape Department of Education spokesperson, Geoffrey van der Merwe, said yesterday that the department was “saddened by the tragic death of a Grade 11 pupil from Greenpoint High School”.

“We feel betrayed by his untimely death, which robs us of someone who still had so much to offer and who had his whole life ahead of him,” Van der Merwe said.

“We wish to convey our most heartfelt and deepest condolences to the extended Reen family, including his classmates and the educators at Greenpoint High School.

“His death filled the schooling community of Greenpoint with shock, grief and brokenness as they are struggling to come to terms with his death. Death has always hit us the hardest when we least expected it.”

The DA in the Northern Cape yesterday also extended its condolences to Reen’s family, friends and the school community affected by the suicide.

“The death of a loved one, especially a young person, is devastating. We ask the Northern Cape Department of Education and the Northern Cape Department of Social Development to work together and provide the necessary support to the school community. Learners will need to talk to social workers or counsellors to work through their grief and to come to terms with the tragedy,”DA spokesperson Safiya Stanfley said yesterday.

“We know that it has been difficult for the Department of Education to appoint psychologists in the past, but we trust that, through a collaborative effort with the Department of Social Development, the necessary support can be given to the school community.”

Van der Merwe stated that the department’s employee support services would visit the school today to provide group counselling, as well one-on-one sessions to the affected pupils and teachers at Greenpoint High School.

“A memorial service will be held tomorrow for Reen,” he added.