A promising student from the Bronx took her life on Friday because she was reportedly caught cheating by a teacher and felt a wave of emotions that were too much for her to deal with.
According to the New York Post, 17-year-old Omotayo Adeoye, reportedly a “biology whiz” at Harlem HS for Math, Science and Engineering, was caught looking at her phone during an exam in her German class on Thursday afternoon. When her teacher caught her, the teacher reportedly made a scene that brought Adeoye to tears. According to a male student in the class, the teacher, Eva Malikova, took Adeoye’s phone. “She snatched it away from her and started screaming at her, ‘Oh, you shouldn’t be cheating! You guys shouldn’t be cheating! You guys are lying to yourselves!'”
The impromptu lecture to the class upset Adeoye to the point that she was visibly shaken, crying, saying “I’m sorry, I’m sorry” to her teacher.
Malikova was quoted as saying, “Oh, you are not really sorry. That’s not a sincere apology!”
Police have since confirmed that this exchange happened, and that afterwards, the teen wrote “I just want to go away forever on the bottom of the river” on her exam. She then asked to go to the bathroom around 2:15, and was allowed to go, but instead, she headed out of the school, which is on 140th street, and walked to the Hudson River at 165th street, where she reportedly jumped in and drowned herself.
Adeoye could not swim, and witnesses at the Hudson at the time said that they saw her take off her ID and jump in the water, forcing herself to stay under. Police were called at 3:35 p.m. to the scene. The high school didn’t call the police about Adeoye missing from her classes until almost 4:30 p.m.
Students at the school reportedly heard Malikova crying and screaming when she heard about the student’s passing on Friday, and she didn’t teach any classes that day. As for the school, the Department of Education issued a statement saying they were investigating this heartbreaking situation, and would also try to do more to address mental health issues with students. There have already been 13 suicides by public school students in the city since the year started.