Omotayo Adeoye, a 17-year-old student at the prestigious High School for Math, Science and Engineering, jumped to her death in the Hudson River on Thursday after she was reportedly caught cheating on an exam.
According to the New York Post, Adeoye wrote a suicide note on her German-language exam, stating: “I just want to go away forever on the bottom of the river,” authorities claimed.
As of Friday, divers had not found the student’s body. Omotayo Adeoye was described by the paper as a “biology whiz” and was in her senior year at the school.
On Thursday, teacher Eva Malikova (pictured above, left) caught the young woman looking at her cellphone during the German test. Malikova was “walking around the room,” said a male classmate, adding that “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!'”
Adeoye immediately burst into tears and sobbing that she was “sorry.”
“Oh, you are not really sorry,” Malikova was said to have replied. “That’s not a sincere apology!”
After that exchange — confirmed by law enforcement officials — Adeoye wrote the note on her test and asked if she could use the bathroom. Instead of going to the bathroom, however, she walked to the Hudson River’s edge at West 165th Street.
She then placed her ID on a rock within sight of a crew of fishermen. Following this action, the men said, she jumped in the water.
Adeoye’s father told the police that his daughter couldn’t swim.
“She appeared to be forcing herself down,” the fishermen added.
According to a spokesperson for the Department of Education (DOE), “We are conducting an investigation into this tragic incident, and we are taking immediate action.”
As for the teacher, Malikova did not teach any classes on Friday, nor was she reachable for comment. However, “several students said they heard her screaming in anguish at the school” the next morning.
School chancellor Carmen Fariña issued this comment picked up by The Daily Mail: “Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and her school community,” she said. “This must be a call to action.”
We’ve reported on a number of teen suicides in the recent past, but most of those cases involved bullying. Do you think in the case of Omotayo Adeoye that the teacher went too far in her criticisms and actually bullied the 17-year-old, or were her actions justifiable given the circumstances? Should any disciplinary action be taken?