After her 17-year-old committed suicide when she was accused of cheating on an exam, a mother from the South Bronx, New York, filed a lawsuit three years ago, and was just awarded a $750,000 settlement from the city.
Omotayo Adeoye was a student at the High School for Math, Science and Engineering at City College. While taking a German language quiz in May 2014, Adeoye’s instructor, Eva Malikova, accused her of cheating on a practice test, reported the New York Daily News.
The accusation against Adeoye was troubling enough to lead the teen to walk into the Hudson River and drown herself.
Before ending her own life, Adeoye wrote a note on a German language quiz.
"What am I doing? Why am I doing it? This is not me. I'm losing my hard earned credibility for some meaningless quiz. I am better than this. This is beyond stupid," papers submitted in the case show.
On the back of the quiz, the student also wrote, "I just want to go away forever on the bottom of the river."
Witnesses who saw Adeoye said she didn’t appear to know how to swim.
"All the fishermen were yelling for help and telling this woman to come out," one witness, Madelyn Arias, told the New York Daily News.
Last week, Adeoye's mother, Mounsurat Adeoye, received the settlement from Manhattan Supreme Court Justice James d'Auguste, who wrote the award is "an excellent outcome" given the "serious legal obstacles" the grieving mother faces.
Adeoye’s lawsuit alleged Malikova "publicly shamed and humiliated" her daughter and that staff failed to act appropriately in dealing with a suicidal teen. Omotayo reportedly became suicidal after Malikova saw the student looking at her cellphone during a quiz and said, “you are only hurting yourself if you cheat,” according to the Daily News.
School employees also saw the note but failed in keeping the teen from leaving the school. Staff was also aware of Adeoye’s past suicide attempt and other mental health struggles, according to court records.
An inquiry by city investigators cleared school staff of any wrongdoing two months after the suicide. Malikova is still teaching at the school.
(Photo: Omotayo Adeoye via Facebook)