A 12-year-old girl reported missing by her parents was found 13 hours later having hidden under her bed because she was being bullied at school.
According to Sin Chew Daily, due to the nature of her disappearance, Chen's mother did not rule out the possibility that her eldest daughter ran away from home because she was hesitant to go to school recently.
The little girl Chen Xiyan was reported missing by her frantic parents just before she was supposed to go to school in the town of Ampang in the western Malaysian state of Selangor.
According to national news outlet redchili21, the little girl went missing in the morning before school, just before her parents were set to leave the house.
Chen’s mother shared a post on Facebook with pictures of her daughter and reported her missing to authorities.
Local councillor Chua Yew Choong confirmed that the little girl had been found hiding 13 hours later. According to digital news outlet Says, Chen told her parents that she was being bullied at school.
Reportedly, the little girl had been drenched on various occasions whilst she was in the toilet cubicles, although, she never caught a glimpse of who her bullies were and then had to spend the rest of the day in wet uniform.
"My daughter was bullied at school but didn't tell her teachers. When I told the school staff, a teacher wanted her to become the 'bait' to catch the bully, so my daughter was even more afraid to go to school,” Chen’s father said.
He added that Chen has also previously reported being hit by a student younger than her and once when she fought back the incident was regarded as a fight by the school.
Chen reportedly spent the whole day hiding under her bed with the spare house keys, a phone, a game console, and some change on her.
There is no further news as to whether the school is investigating the reports of bullying.
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.