Toronto MPP delivers powerful, emotional statement on bullying, suicide of young boy

WATCH ABOVE: The death of a 12-year-old boy, whose mother said was bullied incessantly, was raised this week at Queen’s Park. Caryn Lieberman reports on the powerful message by Toronto MPP Jill Andrew.

A powerful moment at Queen’s Park on Wednesday took place when MPP for Toronto-St Paul’s Jill Andrew delivered a member statement about a 12-year-old boy who died by suicide in June.

“He was a permanent resident of Canada, having moved here from India with his single parent mom Durba, on March 8, 2018 — International Women’s Day,” said Andrew through tears.

“A day when we ironically acknowledge the strength and courage of women… I cannot think of a stronger more courageous woman.”

Durkba Mukherjee is calling for a provincial inquiry into bullying, after she said it may have been the cause of her son’s suicide.


READ MORE:
Grieving Toronto mother questions whether bullying led to son’s death ruled suicide

Arka died on June 21, 2019 in midtown Toronto, just a week before the end of classes.

Nearly five months since his death, Mukherjee said she struggles to understand what led him to take his life and questions whether bullying played a factor in it.

“In the words of Arka’s mother, Durba, ‘Arka, in the last year or his life, was bullied over and over again in school because of his circumstances and his background, I came here for my son to have a chance to grow up in a more open and tolerant society,'” said Andrew.

In response to the member’s statement, Mukherjee told Global News she felt touched that her son is being remembered.


READ MORE:
Toronto mother of 12-year-old boy who died by suicide calls for bullying inquiry

“When Ms. Jill Andrew mentioned that I landed in Canada on International Women’s Day, I burst into tears. There was a time I used to feel proud as a woman. Since my boy left me, I lost everything,” said Mukherjee.

“I am glad that she shared the message in the house. I hope other members will also feel the same for my son and do their bit to get my son justice that he deserves.

“And I hope they will ensure no other mother will ever have to go through this.”

Mukherjee said she has hired a lawyer, and friends have started a GoFundMe campaign called #Justice for Bullied Kids #Justice for Arka to help cover the legal costs.

READ MORE: Experts say zero-tolerance policies aimed at stopping bullying aren’t working

She said her and her lawyer sent a letter to Ontario Premier Doug Ford.

“Please, Mr. Premier do not allow the tragic death of Arka to go unnoticed. Let his death serve as a beacon to all those who have been, and in the future will be, affected as a result of bullying by constituting a full-blown public inquiry,” the letter reads.

Durba Mukherjee is calling for an inquiry into bullying after her son Arka died by suicide.

Durba Mukherjee is calling for an inquiry into bullying after her son Arka died by suicide.

Courtesy Durba Mukherjee

At Queen’s Park, crying as she read her statement, Andrew added, “As one who was bullied mercilessly in school I still have privilege of standing here, Arka will never.”

If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help, resources are available. In case of an emergency, please call 911 for immediate help.

The Canadian Association for Suicide PreventionDepression Hurts and Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868  all offer ways of getting help if you, or someone you know, may be suffering from mental health issues.

Durba Mukherjee is calling for an inquiry into bullying after her son Arka died by suicide.

Durba Mukherjee is calling for an inquiry into bullying after her son Arka died by suicide.

Durba Mukherjee
Durba Mukherjee is calling for an inquiry into bullying after her son Arka died by suicide.

Durba Mukherjee is calling for an inquiry into bullying after her son Arka died by suicide.

Courtesy Durba Mukherjee

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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