In nearly two weeks that I didn't read the broadsheet newspapers, I was put on the spot when asked to comment on the suicide of a 12-year old girl. I thought they were referring to the incident that occurred last September in another parochial school but was corrected. That was the price of my ignorance. I didn't know what was taking place.
The teachers were asking me whether to process this topic to students or not as they were divided in opinion. Personally, it was something that was meant to be discussed to upper grade levels as they were more aware and more befuddled by the issue. It needed to be taken as a discussion in the face of hope over hopelessness. More importantly, it could be emphasized that life is something to be valued as it is God given. On the lower grade levels, teachers could impart a story about the blessing of life without having to bring up the tragic incident.
I have been wanting to write about this but had a doubt if the underlying cause was merely poverty. If it was the cause to her claim to life, the despair and hopelessness may be too much to bear. For someone without opportunity, this death could be the easiest way out no matter how incorrect it is. On a more reflective thought, there are many kids living dead because the adults who were supposed to be responsible to care for them push them to sell their bodies or put them on high risk jobs. Some are really not mindful of children's rights. Take for instance the parents of a student I know who has been dropping their child in the middle of school year for two consecutive years since they couldn't afford to pay her tuition fees. She could have been in first year high school. The parents were up to countless excuses and were relying on wages of relatives overseas. They could have done anything but act destitutes.
In the case of Marianett, there was more to the cry of poverty. It was later revealed that there were indications that she was raped.
Every child is a face of hope and innocence not until every opportunity to abuse them is taken by scoundrels. If only we could spare them the pain of life while they are still fragile and help them nourish the values they would need as their moral compass when they grow up, there could surely be millions of better nation builders. If only we could listen to the call of faint voices and respond to it, kids could have been more courageous and optimistic about life. It is not too late to put our share in what is asked of us- to let the children suffer no more.
(photos from forwarded powerpoint entitled, "kids")