Turkey to pay 1.7 mln liras in damages to student over principal's 'humiliation' about kissing

Turkey's Education Ministry will pay 1.7 million liras in damages to a high student who was paralyzed when he jumped off a balcony following the school principal's humiliation over rumors that he was kissing his girlfriend on the school premises. The principal was found guilty of humiliating the student in a situation that should have been handled delicately, daily Hürriyet reported on Sept. 17.

Duvar English

Turkey's Education Ministry will pay 1.7 million Turkish liras ($220,000) in damages to a student who jumped off a balcony after a principal's "humiliation" about rumors that the teenager was seen kissing his girlfriend, daily Hürriyet reported on Sept. 17.

The students, identified only as D.H. and H.İ., were called to their high school principal's office on Dec. 9, 2015 when rumors circled that the two were seen kissing on the school premises in the southern province of Hatay.

"Tell me about the crap you've been up to. You guys kissed," principal Ayşe Ersoy reportedly told the students. Teacher Nevin Ayan on the other hand threatened the male student with expulsion, asking him what he would think if it were his sister who got caught kissing in school.

The male student, H.İ., attempted suicide by jumping out a balcony that day, becoming 93 percent paralyzed.

The district prosecutor's office launched an investigation into the teenager's suicide attempt and the meeting with the principal that preceded it, dismissing the case on the grounds that Ersoy hadn't made any statements to encourage suicide.

A second report on the event, prepared in 2016, revealed that the principal had in fact "used accusatory statements that could have humiliated H.İ. on such a delicate matter as intersex relationships," noting the emotional volatility of the student's age group.

A Hatay administrative court ruled on July 8, 2020 that the Education Ministry should pay the male student 1.4 million liras in damages for "permanent injury, labor incapacity." The court also ruled that the student's family should be paid 109,000 liras in treatment costs for the teenager, as well as a total 210,000 liras in emotional damages.

Meanwhile, school principal Ersoy and teacher Ayan were found responsible.