A Hong Kong Coroner’s Court heard on Monday how a 16-year-old student who jumped to his death last year was overheard begging his teacher for one more chance after being accused of skipping classes.
Leung Cheuk-ming, a secondary four student of Tung Wah Group of Hospitals Kap Yan Directors’ College in the New Territories, jumped to his death from an apartment building on March 21 last year, Apple Daily reported.
An inquest heard that Leung left school at 1pm that day, claiming that he did not feel well. That evening, Leung received a call from teacher Po Chi-keung, who was in charge of discipline at the school.
Po testified at the court that students who wanted to leave early should apply with a parent’s letter, and leave at 2pm.
That led Po to call Leung’s home in the evening. Leung answered the telephone and said he would tell his parents to call back. However, Po did not receive a call back, which led him to make a second call. This time he spoke to Leung’s mother, whom he informed about her son’s absence.
The mother misunderstood Po, and thought she was being told that Leung was able to leave school early that afternoon as there were no classes following a test.
The court heard that the teacher and student talked over the phone again. Po asked Leung if he had lied to his mother and told him that doing so would probably cause him to receive a demerit point.
The mother told the court that she heard her son say to Po, “I beg you, give me a chance, I will change next time.”
Later, Leung left the apartment while his mother was taking a shower.
When his mother noticed that her son had left without his keys or his mobile phone, she went looking for him, but failed to locate him. She called Po to tell her that her son was missing, and Po advised her to call the police.
The mother then heard from a security guard that someone had fallen from the building. When she went to investigate, she found it was her son.
Po was notified by police officers two hours after Leung’s death. They invited Po to Tuen Mun Hospital to assist in the investigation but Po opted not to do so.
Po told the court that he wanted to take advice from the school principal before going to the hospital but was unable to get in touch with him. However he was able to contact the vice principal who told him that, since Po “didn’t know much about counselling” he advised that it was better not to go to the hospital.
The hearing continues on Tuesday.