THE parents of a 16-year-old girl who suicided at school called for answers over why their daughter was not found for more than 90 minutes after she went missing from class.
The death of Polish-born teenager Dagmara Przybysz made headlines in the UK this week after a three-day inquest into her May 2016 death found that she had been "clearly upset" before she was found dead at Pool Academy in Cornwall.
Despite what happened in the days prior, Cornwall Coroner Emma Carlyon said there was no evidence of mental health issues or "significant racism or bullying" that could have driven the teen to her death.
"Although the evidence pointed to a self-inflicted death there was no other evidence that Dagmara had intended to end her own life, such as a note," she said. "Although she was clearly upset in the previous 48 hours she was reportedly fine at school and she took her dyslexia test to help her in college. She was clearly enjoying the relationship with Lewis and was making plans for the school ball."
The conclusion comes after a dramatic inquest that saw her parents walk out fuming after they learned the search for their daughter may have been confused by another child who went missing around the same time.
The inquest heard member of staff, Marie Exelby, confirm she entered the toilet block looking for another child at the time Dagmara would have been in there but did not go in far enough to notice if the cubicles were open or shut.
Another member of staff, Laura Gribble, also described how she heard a "banging and rattling noise" for two or three minutes around 12:45pm but went to check and saw the cubicle shut.
"I was in there for 30 seconds and did not see or hear anyone," she said.
The inquest heard how the "lovely girl" who was a budding photographer had been subject to racist taunts and bullying. Dagmara's mother Ewelina, said her daughter was having problems with students who called her names.
"I don't know exactly what was said,'' she told the inquest. "This incident occurred only a few days before Dagmara passed away ... I don't know whether these incidents were racist in nature; however, I can say that on several occasions she overheard comments such as 'stupid Pole'.''
"We think the biggest problem for Dagmara was not racism, but bullying.''
Her father Jedrzej Przybysz said she phoned him in tears on the morning of her death but "I told her to go to school and on return we would have a serious conversation about this problem," Cornwall Live reports.
A message from Dagmara to her boyfriend, Lewis Simpson, was also read out in which she said: "Not the best day at school, people saying things about me because I am from Poland. I don't even know their names.''
He said she had been told things such as "go back to your own country" and "I think it got to her a little bit".
Staff including assistant principal Lisette Neesham said there was no record of bullying or racism on the school register. The school also defended it's record and said adequate procedures were in place to deal with such incidents.
MISSING 90 MINUTES
Part of the inquest centred around the 90 minutes Dagamara was missing before her body was found. School CCTV footage showed her entering the bathroom around 12:15pm. She was marked absent by her science teacher but there was no evidence of a search.
Two other students aged 11 and 12 found the cubicle shut 90 minutes later and alerted staff who called the authorities.
Police and paramedics arrived around 2:15pm and found her covered in a blanket after no attempts at CPR. The teacher who found her, Rodney Peasley, said "If I thought there was any hope of it working I would have."
A remembrance page has been set up in her honour, with friends and family following progress of the investigation.
At the time of her death in May 2016 the school said they were "deeply shocked and saddened" by the loss of the student.
"Dagmara was a beautiful, bright and creative 16 year old student with a very promising future ahead of her. She was passionate about fashion and photography. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Dagmara's family and friends at this difficult time."
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