BSM teacher bullied Liam Madamba, says mom

Posted at May 11 2015 07:27 PM | Updated as of May 12 2015 03:27 AM

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The family of British School Manila scholar Liam Madamba is blaming a BSM teacher for bullying Liam to the point that he committed suicide last February.

Liam Madamba, 18, was one of the top graduating students at the international school in Taguig, when he jumped from the 6th floor of the Dela Rosa carpark building in Makati on February 6. He later died at the Makati Medical Center.

In an ANC interview, Mrs. Trixie Madamba said her son committed a mistake by improperly citing one short paragraph in his essay, which may or may not be plagiarism.

She pointed out, however, that the teacher, Natalie Mann, failed to follow the school manual, which states that a first offense on a first draft should only be meted a 15-minute lunch detention.

She said the teacher could have told Liam to put the paragraph in quotes. She noted the final draft was due on February 23.

Mrs. Madamba said that instead of helping Liam, Mann threatened and humiliated the boy during their meeting last February 6.

"He was threatened, he was humiliated. He was told that he was a disgrace and destroying the reputation of the school. His scholarship is threatened. And then he was taken to a separate room for a one-on-one meeting with this teacher. I don't know what happened in that room but she made him write a letter of apology," she said.

Mrs. Madamba said she did not see her son's letter of apology until two months after he died.

"You can see in the turns of phrase and the words that he used, you could really see his state of mind. He was in a state of total shame. Shame is lethal and deadly. You could tell that he was in extreme suffering, extremely humiliated. He was pushed to the brink and he had snapped," she said.

She also revealed that Mann had admitted to the panel that she never read the letter of apology that Liam wrote.

"Had she bothered to read it, she would have seen signs. What happened to Liam should never have happened," she said.

Mrs. Madamba said she believes that her son, who is an introvert, succumbed to the psychological bullying that he suffered from his teacher.

She said another student who was also reprimanded by Mann for the same offense went hysterical after the admonition. She said Mann pacified the student by telling her that the letter would not be read by the entire school.

"Natalie Mann had clarified to her: 'You know, not everybody is going to read this letter. It is not going to be sent out to the community, pacifying her.' She did not do that with my son. She did not clarify that is not punitive but reflective. My son understood it to be punitive."

She said Mann was allowed to leave the country after Liam's suicide.

ANC, May 11, 2015