Family launches $475K lawsuit against Calgary Board of Education over daughter's suicide

The family of a young Calgary girl who took her own life after her parents say she was relentlessly bullied has launched a $475,000 lawsuit against the Calgary Board of Education.

Amal Alshteiwi — whose name translates to 'hope' — was just nine years old when she took her own life in March 2019.

A refugee from Syria, Alshteiwi's parents says she had trouble adjusting to her new life in Canada and she suffered months of bullying, being called things like 'stupid' and 'ugly'.

Her mother, Nasra Abdulrahmin, says she went to the school and told her daughter's teacher about the bullying but nothing was done.

"The kids were bullying my daughter and even asking her to go and hang herself and kill herself," her father, Aref Alshteiwi, earlier told CTV News Calgary.

Alshteiwi was moved to a new school but killed herself four days later.

In the lawsuit, the family claims the CBE and the school she was going to were negligent and failed Alshteiwi by not protecting her, failing to investigate the alleged bullying and not providing staff with proper training.

None of the allegations have been proven in court. CBE officials declined a request for comment.

There are a number of resources available for those experiencing crisis, including:

  • Emergency – 911
  • Calgary Distress Centre 403-266-4357 (Available 24/7)
  • Mental Health Helpline – 1-877-303-2642
  • Kids Help Phone – 1-800-668-6868 or text CONNECT to 686868
  • List of Important Numbers
  • Addiction Helpline – 1-866-332-2322
  • Community Resources – 211 Alberta
  • Crisis Text Line - Text CONNECT to 741741
  • Family Violence – Find Supports – 310-1818
  • Health Link – 811
  • Income Supports – 1-866-644-5135
  • Physician & Family Support Program - 1-877-767-4637