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September 1, 2011

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Girl leaps to death just ahead of school

A schoolgirl jumped to her death from a residential high-rise building in the Pudong New Area early yesterday morning, just minutes before she was supposed to fetch her textbooks for the new school year starting the next day.

The student, 15, jumped from the top of an 18-story apartment building on Zhangyang Road about 7:50am.

The girl was a grade nine student at Jincai North Middle School, and she was supposed to attend the high school entrance exam next June. Students of the school were required to get their new books at 8am yesterday.

She was wearing a school uniform when she jumped and left her schoolbag and cellphone on top of the building, security guards said.

The girl was a resident of a neighboring community and went into the building alone, a surveillance camera showed. Her death was under investigation, police said.

The number of student suicides has been on the rise in recent years.

A total of eight primary and secondary school students committed suicide last year, two more than the previous year. Six students killed themselves amid disputes with parents and two ended their lives under the academic pressure, according to the Shanghai Education Commission.

"It's not enough for schools to add some life lessons to the curriculum after students' suicide," said Liu Yeping, a psychological consultant at Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

"The education authorities and the whole society should work to release the heavy academic burden on students," she said. "That's the key."

Meanwhile, a high school physics teacher fell from her apartment in Xuhui District early yesterday morning and died. Sha Wei, in her 40s, taught grade 12 students at the High School Affiliated to the Shanghai Normal University.


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