Died: September 14, 2012
Age at death: 9
Cause of death: Suicide (Fall)
Location: Shenzen Province, China
At school, nine-year-old Yin got into an argument with the other children, during which he threatened to bite a classmate. The school reacted by suspending him and sending him home, where his parents locked him in his room. In despair, Yin climbed over the balcony and fell several stories to his death.
A teacher said that, while Yin often had trouble controlling himself, he had never attacked anyone.
Editor’s Note: I don’t usually include suicides except in cases where the person has been either harassed to the point that they use suicide as a way out, or else committed suicide because they were denied mental health services. In this case, though, the age of the child is so young that I can’t help but think that there must have been systemic abuse or neglect. 9-year-olds can indeed commit suicide due to “simple” depression, but Yin was locked in his room after being kicked out of school for an autism-related behavior. Suspending a child for simply talking about biting another child, when he has never in the past gotten into a physical fight, is a major overreaction that leads me to believe this was just one example of a pattern of similar incidents which involved punishing the child for his autistic traits. This situation reminds me very much of the Montana Lance case, another situation in which a child who was the subject of long-term harassment was punished for reacting to it and then committed suicide.