Maria Fernanda Michua Gantus, an ITAM student in Law and International Relations, died after «a prolonged attack of epilepsy that her body did not resist,» according to a letter released by her mother, Fernanda Gantus.
She explained that her daughter was suffering from seizures of epilepsy and depression «combined with severe migraines,» a condition she kept hidden and under medical care, «so that she could be treated with anyone’s demands and commitments.»
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Although he ruled out suicide, Fernanda’s mother said the latest epilepsy attack «was due to the great stress she was exposed to by the studies and her grandmother’s sensitive loss in recent months»
Gantus said Fernanda made the decision to study at ITAM because of her high academic demand, as she «wanted to be the best and would never have accepted that ITAM would reduce her academic level».
«His permanent anger was the mocking and humiliating way some teachers had towards students. From day one she was threatened with the sword of Damocles that she would not graduate. My daughter hated that environment where the empathy and kindness of these teachers was non-existent, to the point that on the last day of her life Fernanda came out crying out of a law exam for the humiliation she received by one of her teachers. This situation was a trigger for my daughter’s attack,» she said.
I write through the deepest pain that a human being can feel, and from there, from the bottom of my being, I want to thank the show of respect and affection that have shown my daughter María Fernanda Michua Gantus.
— Fernanda Gantus (@GantusFernanda) December 19, 2019
However, he expressed his admiration and support for the student movement that was organized by the death of Fernanda and three other companions.
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«I implore the students in memory of my daughter and for the affection she has professed to never allow them to be HUMILLED OR DEGRADE IN ANY SITUATION IN YOUR LIFE are human beings who deserve respect in this and all stages of their development.»
Fernanda Michua’s family confirmed to Political Animal the veracity of the letter and that «this text would be the only statement we will make about it, I thank you for your understanding».
ITAM announces measures
This same December 19, the rector of the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM), Arturo Fernández, announced a series of actions, following the protests and stoppages of students, among which are the creation of the ITAM Center for Teaching and Learning, which will «develop strategies for the pedagogical improvement of the whole Institute»; the creation of a Declaration of Principles and Values; a comprehensive study of the mental health phenomenon at ITAM, «to know more precisely its nature and dimension, in order to establish an action plan.
Synthesis of the Rector’s message to the Faculty of the #ITAM: pic.twitter.com/KCtII2ZbiP
— ITAM (@ITAM_mx) December 20, 2019
She also announced the appointment of Deputy Director of Mental Health Care Rosa Diaz, as well as sexual harassment training.
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