Tragedy in Switzerland



Two students die after fall from cliff

Two pupils at the prestigious Leysin American School have died after falling down a cliff. The incident is said to have happened after a party.

The two boarding school students, an 18-year-old American woman and a 17-year-old Moroccan man, disappeared on Friday afternoon.

Police in the canton of Vaud said that the pair were found on Saturday at the foot of a cliff near the town of Leysin on the eastern shore of Lake Geneva.

Officials said at the weekend that both appeared to have drunk alcohol at a student party on Friday and a criminal investigation had been opened to determine the circumstances of their deaths.

Autopsies are being carried out at the university centre of legal medicine in Lausanne to discover if the students’ bodies contain traces of alcohol.

A statement said that police were informed when the students failed to appear at final dormitory check-in on Friday. A vigil was held at the school on Saturday evening and a remembrance service on Sunday.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

Swiss police: US, Moroccan die in cliff fall

(AP) – 2 days ago

GENEVA — Swiss police say an American woman and a Moroccan man attending a prestigious Swiss boarding school have died after falling several hundred feet down a cliff.

Police in the canton of Vaud say the pair were found Saturday at the foot of the cliff by the town of Leysin near the eastern shore of Lake Geneva.

Police say both appeared to have drunk alcohol at a student party Friday and a criminal investigation has been opened to determine the circumstances of their deaths.

The Leysin American School has named the students as Sidonie Fery and Mehdi Berrada.

School chairman Steven Ott said Sunday that both were 19 years old and final year students. He declined to answer further questions citing the police investigation.

The above articles were published last weekend. So far I have not seen any more updates. There is an age discrepancy between the two articles.

There are probably privacy issues involved that the concerned parents may not wish to have broadcasted…issues beyond drinking alcohol in a steep cliff area of the world.

Information Update

April 25th, 2010. Posted in General News

On Saturday, April 24, 2010 at 12:20, the Leysin American School was informed by the local Search and Rescue Team, called in by the authorities, of the discovery of the bodies of Sidonie Fery, age 18, and Mehdi Berrada, age 17. They died in a mountain accident after falling off of a cliff below a public picnic area in Leysin after crossing a barbed wire fence.

Below is the ruling on alcohol consumption found in the Leysin handbook.

Alcohol Consumption

(A limited privilege, which may be revoked at any time) Seniors, 13th Grade, and Post Graduates with parental permission may earn the privilege of being able to consume limited amounts of alcohol. Privilege will be granted at the Dean’s Reception if students show collective, social responsibility in earning this privilege, and only after the successful completion of an Alcohol Awareness Seminar. The program may be implemented and/or terminated on a year to year basis and without notice. The parameters of the program will be clearly outlined by the Head of School and the Deans. The following guidelines apply:

• Students may only consume alcohol with dinner and/or after 19:00 on Friday and Saturday nights (or during special occasions approved by the Dean of Students)

• Only beer and wine may be consumed. Hard alcohol (spirits) is forbidden • Alcohol must never be consumed on campus, with the exception of chaperoned, school sponsored events. Alcohol must never be consumed in the dormitories • Senior students with or without drinking privilege will be breathalyzed each weekend night. BAC (blood alcohol concentration) must not exceed .05 at any time Non-chaperoned drinking may only occur in designated establishments • LAS reserves the right to breathalyze students at any time without warning • Breaches in the points above may yield harsh punishments and result in temporary or permanent loss of privileges. Repeated alcohol abuse will lead to referral (mandatory attendance) to alcohol awareness counseling Despite Swiss Law, allowing 16 year olds to purchase and consume beer and/or wine, LAS regulations dictate otherwise. All underclassmen and those seniors without parental authorization “regardless of age” are NOT permitted to purchase or consume any alcohol under any circumstances.

Underclass students are not permitted to drink alcohol under any circumstances. If they, or seniors before drinking permission has been granted, are caught drinking, they will receive an on-campus suspension, followed by withdrawal from LAS for a second offense. After drinking permission has been granted (it has been after winter break in past years) seniors receive a series of consequences that can range from 2 hour check-ins to withdrawal from LAS.

It seems on the surface that LAS has a pretty good control of alcohol consumption concerning their students. However, is it possible to ever control all students at all time when drinking is concerned?

A BAC level of 0.05 involves the consumption of alcohol that depends on the weight, sex, and body fat of the drinker. If you examine the charts, that’s anywhere between less than one and no more than two drinks to achieve that level. At that point impairment includes alertness, judgment, coordination, and concentration. Feelings are experienced as mild euphoria, relaxation, sense of well-being, joyousness, and decreased inhibition. There are very few young men and women who have the maturity to stop at just one or two drinks. They LIKE the behavior changes they feel.

I feel very sad for the administration of this school. Quite often, even though the parents’ social lives center around drinking, they will quickly condemn whomever they wish when it comes to alcohol related events in the lives of their children. The old hypocrisy thing again. The administration will have a fine wire to walk.

The Moroccan parents might be even more upset and chagrined. That society as a whole does not look favorably upon alcohol consumption.

Perhaps it was a case where the students were just friends who wandered too close to the edge of the cliff on their way back to the dorms. Perhaps there is more to the story. Perhaps it is the age-old story of two young people from two very different worlds who realized even in the world today a relationship between the two of them would never be accepted. After all, as seniors they would have parted in less than two months. There are many “perhaps” issues to this story that will probably never be told.

Their parents and friends will be left to grieve. The school will be left “holding the bag” since ultimately, even though they clearly state the rules, they are the ones responsible at all times for the health and well-being of all their students.

There may or may not be lawsuits from the parents. The school may or may not survive this tragedy. A lot of people will have to do a lot of soul-searching to determine how such an incident can ever be prevented from occurring again. Life is not always kind. I wish the best outcome for the staff and faculty of this fine school as possible. Namaste. Attic Annie

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47 Comments

Filed under alcoholic drinking, Casual conversation, diary, education, friendship, general topics, life, musings, teenagers, Uncategorized

47 responses to “Tragedy in Switzerland

  1. LAS alumnu

    it’s been 4 years, miss the both terribly
    rest in peace mehdi and sidonie ❤

  2. susan

    I attended a boarding school in switzerland and know for a fact that, like any school where there are teenagers, things happen.
    Kids rebel against administration that they feel is too strict, they form.a union against them, do things they shouldn’t. It happened all the time down the lake from Leysin. It is nothing new. Anytime there was a chance, be it on a week long ski trip with the school or a field trip to the Chateau de Chillion, we did things like take off from the group to drink or take drugs. Sadly, accidents happen. Someone is blamed. The two young people that lost their lives probably wandered off to be alone, slipped and fell to their deaths. A tragedy that will never be forgotten by those that loved them.

  3. Pam

    I find most of the comments on here to be very narrow minded. I am a 50 year old, college educated woman. I have dated men from different cultures and races, so I feel that I can speak from experience. My entire life I have witnessed racism and hate against intercultural relationships. How wonderful that the posters on this blog have never experienced any judgement or mistreatment related to who they love. Perhaps it is the benefit of privilege that has made it possible for these posters to be blind to the real world in which most of us live.

  4. I went to high school in Texas and I can assure you that it is simply a case of being drunk and daring. Happened to me and my friends all the time and yes, some died from their stupid “bravery.” Most of us just got lucky. The fact that they are both at the bottom of the cliff proves one tried to rescue the other from falling, nuff said. RIP

  5. Tiffani

    Intelligent people think outside the box. They consider all possibilities and hypothesis to the unknown. Especially the trained creative writer…..:-) So, remember people, to always give others the benefit of the doubt. Only God knows what real intent anyone has at any time, so it is wrong for us to even possibly ill-accuse, and that includes intent. If you don’t take people at face-value, you may be short-changing both of you, ‘cuz once again, only God knows for sure. So be at the very least fair to everyone, y’all !!!….. If you can pass this on, you can change the world…..

  6. Kate

    Oh please. Are you even American? Americans are the epitome of intercultural relations! What American would kill themselves because they can’t be with a Moroccan ? Her parents were French and Persian ..doesn’t that give you a clue as to how she views and how her parents view inter-cultural relations?! I think it would do you good to stop projecting as if we are living in 1950’s america. Behind the Berlin Wall or in Jerusalem .. Try a new way of Interpreting todays world Instead of using what you learned from a time long past..long gone. encouraging more close minded and negative thoughts like these. To even project something like that…. You are creating more pain and more thoughts toward seperation into the world. Something I’ve noticed the older generations do often and are oblivious toward the impact their words have. Do you realize the impact you are having on these young inpressionable minds? As you write, and recall that you do in fact have the ability for your words – your intentions – to reach anyone in the world . As it has mine. Please remember that what you say is what you create and what you will help create for others. The world you create for yourself is the world that will impact my own and all those into the future, if you want to project separation of cultures such as these ..which do not experience much seperation nowadays .. Please make your blog private.

    It’s as if your mind is stuck in the Stone Age,.. Ah..set in stone i mean. Be open to the fact that not only has the world changed .. But it changes everyday when people like you let go of their old ideologies and let in the TRUTH of TODAY..and when they realize the impact that the WAY WE VIEW THE WORLD IS THE WORLD WE LIVE IN.

    Ps I’ve already noticed you pass judgement on a persons age as a reason for them not experiencing enough of the world to see it in the same light. Not everyone decides what their day means today by something that happened yesterday or to someone else. But the older we get the more we are set in our beliefs to the point our belief becomes an impenetrable wall that not even the truth can climb. Step outta the past..the way you interpret the world is obviously not working anymore for your fellow earthlings..open yourself to a new way to believe. Maybe more love for others ..for the future..for the present..and for the past will come from it.

    When life is ruled by fear love is lost.

    At least those young minds aren’t set in stone yet And are still open to seeing the light and not the just the darkness, these impressionable minds that you are half hazardly injecting with thoughts like these that aren’t even an inkling of truth for the matter at hand. go write a fictional novel ..if you want to prophethosize the way relations were back in the 1960′s American landscape.

    Times have changed ! Get with it

    • atticannie

      You make some very valid points, Kate. Yes, I am now and always have been an American. I will stand by my idea that there could have been a problem due to the differences in ethnicity. I hope in the next generation all that is behind us but I feel it is not. I have no problems with couples from different cultures falling in love, as is obvious in my own family, but that is NOT the case worldwide. If you think everything is fine throughout the entire world, open your eyes. Look at the controversy that was started a few weeks ago when Cheereos featured a biracial child in their ads. Racism and all the other isms that keep us apart are just under the surface.
      When I wrote this blog, I had no access to the cultural background of these two. It was written shortly after the incident happened. I am acutely aware of the impact of words. I was not in any way oblivious.
      I will also stand by the thoughts about these being very young persons. I wasn’t speaking of relations in the 60s. Romeo and Juliet was written much longer ago than that. It is because they were so young that I theorized it may have been a tale of tragedy. Teens seem to take situations of rejection the most personally and we lose them far before their time much too often. http://kidshealth.org/parent/emotions/behavior/suicide.html#
      There is not enough time for me to write a novel and get it published although I would have loved at one point to do just that. If you were to know me, my mind is far from being set in stone. That does not mean I am fearful of expressing what I feel and know. Thanks for you comment.AA

  7. mark m

    what a terrible horrible shame what happened to sidonie & mehdi. a strange postscript to this; apparently sidonie had written a small message & signed he name & phone # to it & put it into a bottle & threw the bottle into the ocean back when she was 10 years old… the bottle did not travel far before becoming buried in the sand. 8 years later the hurricane sandy came along & uncovered the bottle, which was found & opened by some people cleaning the beach… the message was read, & the finder found & called sidonies’ mother & returned the bottle & sidonies’ message to her. here is the link to the story; http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/07/11/superstorm-sandy-debris-found-on-ny-beach-includes-message-from-woman-deceased/?intcmp=trending

  8. Meredith H.

    Guess you might be getting some blog hits about this incident because of the ‘message in the bottle’ that the girl sent and was found recently in NY. I was curious about the accident mentioned in the article and binged her name. Sad story about her and the boy.

  9. I think this blog borderlines on slander of the teens and is pure speculations and outright lies in some parts.. I’m surprised you continue to defend your post and brag about the views of it. This isn’t about you. It’s about them. Show some respect. And get your stories straight for a change…

    • atticannie

      You will notice this blog was written shortly after the event happened and yes it did include some speculations. Please inform me of the outright lies. I do not continue to defend or brag. Time and additional information has a way of changing perspectives. This wasn’t a story. It was a blog written from one viewpoint.

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  11. JC

    I was at the school when this happened, it was a tragedy, but there’s no need for you to speculate about love and suicide, and dramatize this anymore.

    • atticannie

      This article was written soon after the tragedy. No speculation has taken place in almost eight months.

      • atticannie

        You will notice I have not commented on this blog written almost a year ago about any other speculations.

  12. Dr. Tina Orsini

    I was saddened to find this blog. I was an English teacher and chair at LAS. My ex-husband was the headmaster. I remember how difficult it was to keep track of everybody and everything. Those of us who were vigilant could sometimes be proactive and stave off potential difficulties. I used to spend much time watching and worrying—staying on top of issues—-even with 18 hour work days. Clearly, not all were vigilant. Some closed their eyes. I used to see it all, and if you wanted to say something, you were viewed as the pain/thorn at their sides. To me, all students were like my own son who attended the school. I tried to be constantly aware/open-eyed, but was shut down by others who just played the game of make-believe, who themselves were to busy going off track. —too many secrets kept undercover. I don’t blame the school or the Ott family. The students are everyone’s responsibility. When I look back at a school and the Leysin that I truly loved, I realize that I was forced to leave; I was afraid to be complicit by the sheer ignorance and carelessness of some irresponsible people—-students, faculty, staff, and yes, even parents who abdicate their roles.
    Adolescents are to be respected but also held close, watched, questioned, protected. Does anyone know how to parent anymore? There is so much more than teaching—we have to be everything to our students.
    Blessings to these two young people who met an untimely end. And, perhaps some of my Leysin family(students) will remember me and how much I cared about them. Love to you all and hope that life is good to you. TAke care of your life—which is so fragile—because it is worth living.
    Dr. Tina Orsini NY

    • atticannie

      Somehow I missed your note. I taught for thirty years. I know how often teachers must look the other way when things are being swept “under the rug”. I know how hard it is to walk away when one has had enough. I know well the game of “make believe” and if anyone doubts that this game goes on, they are living in complete naivete. It hurts to care but somebody has to keep doing it. I haven’t heard any more about this. Has the case been closed?

  13. JM

    I knew both of them, LAS isnt to blame for this, nobody is, it was an accident, neither of them would have EVER contemplated suicide, sid was one of the happiest people i have ever met and i miss her every day

    rest in peace mehdi and sidonie ❤

  14. C.M

    Just stop this. It is painfull, it really hurts when I read those lies. Stop making up stories. I was there that day. I knew both of them, they were good friends of mine. Just stop it please.
    First of all Sidonie was not wearing gloves, and secondly, teachers did come, they took away all the alcohol and gave us food.
    Sidonie would have never done that. And mehdi would have never let her do that.
    Please let them rest in peace. They deserve it. Stop removing the past.
    No one will ever know what really happened, so just stop this please.
    I MISS YOU SIDONIE AND MEHDI, your smiles will always be with us.

  15. TheOne

    The school owners and administrators found all the students drinking alcohol before 10:00AM and allowed them to stay on the mountaintop unchaperoned and continue to get wasted, rather than chaperone them back to campus. The school is to blame.

  16. trish

    She wasn’t wearing gloves in any of the pictures. Neither was he. Where did the gloves come from?

  17. LAS Alumn

    I am a former student of LAS and I’m just now finding out about this story. It absolutely broke my heart. I spent 3 wonderful years at LAS and I must tell you that it is very easy for things like this to occur. I graduated from LAS in 1998 so its been awhile, and I hear that the school has really gone downhill (administratively at least).

    It is true that seniors are allowed to drink if they have drinking permission from their parents. But students in all classes drink all the time. Some students are more ballsy then others and get completely wasted.

    My roommate was on restriction once when the school had one of those “slumber party” things in the school gym (directly below the 6 story dorm). He and his russian friends had a night of drinking vodka and by morning were still very drunk. They had to get rid of the bottles before a teacher came in so he drunkenly threw the bottle over the balcony and it came inches from hitting a girl in the head (six stories down mind you). He could have killed her. I could go on and on with stories where students put themselves and others in danger because of the alcohol rules.

    So to hear a story like this occured, to be quite honest I have always thought something like this would happen. I’m surprised it hadn’t happened sooner. Now, I don’t want anyone thinking that I’m against the seniors drinking. Not at all. But it seems that the students now a days at LAS seem to have more control than the faculty. I read a comment from a former faculty that said one friday the Dean got up in the weekly full body assembly and practically begged the students to attend their classes because so many students were doing it that they can’t POSSIBLY put everyone on restriction. When I was there I hardly ever heard of any student skipping class. But if the students think they are in control, of course they would skip class…go get drunk…then bad things happen.

    • atticannie

      It’s sad when situations like this occur. Many times even if the parents are informed nothing is done.

  18. ES

    I met Sidonie’s parents at Les Deux Tours in Marrakech this past week-they flew back to NYC on the 6th. They were there for about a week to spend time with Mehdi’s parents, and Sidonie’s grandmother (her stepfather’s mother I think) had flown in from Antwerp to be with them as well.
    They were lovely people and so shattered by what had happened. Mimi (Sidonie’s mother) struggled to keep her composure when she talked about the accident, which is still under investigation. They would like answers as well, especially as to why apparently 60+ students managed to skip classes one day and head up a mountain with alcohol and no one seemed to notice.
    I only hope that they can get the answers that they need and find some peace.
    ES

    • atticannie

      Thank you for your comment. I have not been blogging for very long. On most good days I may only have one or two readers. It is only when my blog is picked up by a more well known site that it gets many more readers. I am so sorry for the parents of these two students. I do hope that what I have said caused them no more grief, if they have read it. If there were so many students around, I wonder how these two could not have been seen slipping away or staying behind. I wonder why it was not evident that they were missing until bed check. There are so many unanswered questions. Those students who have responded to this blog have not offered any answers. Some of them have struck out because of their pain. Many people have been hurt by this incident. The “perhaps” that I wrote which was most strongly objected to was the “perhaps” that did kind of sound like Romeo and Juliet in a way. I am hoping that is definitely not the case because students at this age may try to see it in a romantic light and try to solve similar problems in the same way causing even more heartache. The two that responded by quoting that part of my blog seemed to give me the impression that I should get real. it’s 2010 not the Shakesperian times. They are not yet experienced to know that there are only so many themes played out in our life times and the story of Romeo and Juliet has been played out in some way or another continuously since that story was written. With as much cross cultural dating as is happening now, I often wonder if there are many more episodes like this that don’t make it into international news like students at an American School would. This story is definitely a tragedy for everyone concerned. AA

      • Kate

        Oh please. Are you even American? Americans are the epitome of intercultural relations! What American would kill themselves because they can’t be with a Moroccan ? Her parents were French and Persian ..doesn’t that give you a clue as to how she views and how her parents view inter-cultural relations?! I think it would do you good to stop projecting as if we are living within the Berlin Wall or within Jerusalem .. Even there loving inter culturally without suicide is possible and encouraged unlike encouraging more close minded and negative thoughts like these. To even project something like that…. You are creating more pain and more thoughts toward seperation into the world. Something I’ve noticed the older generations do often and are oblivious toward the impact their words have. As you write, and recall that you do in fact have the ability for your words – your intentions – to reach anyone in the world . As it has mine. Please remember that what you say is what you create and what you will help create for others. The world you create for yourself is the world that will impact my own and all those into the future, if you want to project separation of cultures such as these ..which do not experience much seperation nowadays .. Please make your blog private.

        It’s as if your mind is stuck in the Stone Age,.. Be open to the fact that not only has the world changed .. But it changes everyday when people like you let go of their old ideologies and let in the TRUTH of TODAY..and when they realize the impact that the WAY WE VIEW THE WORLD IS THE WORLD WE LIVE IN.

        Ps I’ve already noticed you pass judgement on a persons age as a reason for them not experiencing enough of the world to see it in the same light. Not everyone decides what their day means today by something that happened yesterday or to someone else. But the older we get the more we are set in our beliefs to the point our belief becomes an impenetrable wall that not even the truth can climb. Step outta the past..the way you interpret the world is obviously not working anymore for your fellow earthlings..open yourself to a new way to believe. Maybe more love for others ..for the future..for the present..and for the past will come from it.

        When life is ruled by fear love is lost.

      • Kate

        At least those young minds aren’t set in stone And are still open to seeing the light and not the just the darkness, these impressionable minds that you are half hazardly injecting with thoughts like these that aren’t even an inkling of truth for the matter at hand. go write a fictional novel ..if you want to prophethosize the way relations were back in the 1960’s American landscape.

        Times have changed ! Get with it

      • atticannie

        I have retired from teaching before the word “prophethosize” came into exisitence. I’m not sure what you mean. Please give me an updated definition if it is a word.

  19. kat

    sid was a really good friend of mine. i miss her terribly. and i think its incredibly ignorant of you to imply suicide.
    “Perhaps it is the age-old story of two young people from two very different worlds who realized even in the world today a relationship between the two of them would never be accepted. After all, as seniors they would have parted in less than two months.”
    i think that you should get to know more of the story before you say things like that. sidonie would never have let this happen willingly.

    • atticannie

      I would like to know more of the story. There has been no more in the news since the original announcements. Someone added that her glove was found in his hand. It is only natural that people wonder. When I blog, I think often in terms of what if or perhaps. I know that I am not the only one who would like to have closure on this story since the deaths seem so senseless although I truly believe that everything happens for a purpose. There are a lot of unanswered questions that many people are asking. All I did was tell a story. If you know all the facts about what happened, please feel free to tell us. I meant no disrespect to anyone. Thank you for your comment.

  20. I.B

    In my opinion,The world does not need to know, The wolrd should not know, The world is not allowed to know. The world wont bring them back, therefore, it does not deserve to know. Just R.I.P for both of them. I tell myself that they’re in a better place. We’ll all meet someday.

  21. A.

    Whoever you are, did you even know Sidonie and Mehdi?

    Perhaps it is the age-old story of two young people from two very different worlds who realized even in the world today a relationship between the two of them would never be accepted.

    Seriously? Let them rest in peace, after making everyone around them happy I think they deserve it, not to be compared to Romeo and Juliette.

    Please do not, assume, or try to guess what happened. Please.

    RIP Sid and Mehdi
    Your smile remains with us.

    • atticannie

      No, I did not know them. I know nothing about them. From your choice of words, I am certain you must have known them well and are feeling your loss.
      Unfortunately, I don’t think I was out of line with my comment about their relationship or lack of it. It is still deemed unacceptable for many young people who are from two different worlds to be allowed to be with each other. Within the walls of many international schools, all relationships seem totally acceptable until the students have to face “the real world”. It has been stated that the young man tried to save the young woman. Perhaps that is all there is to this story. I don’t plan to do anything else with the story. I was surprised at the number of people who even have read my blog on this topic. However, I’m guessing right now someone is planning to make a “made for TV movie” about the incident, especially when one of the commenters remarked about her glove being in his hand. It is a very sad story. I’m wondering how much the world will ever know about the outcome. AA

  22. I.B

    dear j, I understand all of this, Sidonie didnt have drugs in her body, they both had alcohol, but no one thinks this played in since, they did not climb the fence. they presume that mehdi was the one trying to catch her, since the body marks show that her body was sliding first and since her glove was in his hand this is what the police presume. But all of these things are presumptions, answers will come. I also know that the Otts family, the family ruling over L.A.S, the school, were here in morocco, and they were supposed to meet up with mehdi’s parents. But wierdly they never showed up , cancelled the meeting for no reason and flew back to switzerland. With time everything will be answereed. And im sorry for the death of your lacross friend, may she rest in peace. Once we’ve tasted the grief of losing a close one, it’s so hard to let go but its life. may they all rest in peace. thak you.

    • N.P

      Hello. firstly i would like to say that I am so unbelievably sorry for both your losses. Mehdi was a really good friend of a close friend of mine (similar to you i guess J) and ive been trying to help him through this time. After everything hes shared with me about his kind and seemingly hilarious/loving personality i feel like i almost knew him myself and as a result, i am grieving-perhaps no where near as those who actually knew him, but enough to not stop thinking about either of them. I too, have many questions but feel like i have no right to know. Im not looking to start up this conversation again as i can imagine its hard for you to talk about I.B, but i just wanted to give my condolences and to share with you J, that I too have been affected by their untimely deaths, it has had a huge impact on me and i really wish i could have known them both. Rest in peace.

  23. j

    Dear I.B.,
    Please understand that I meant no disrespect whatsoever towards either Sidonie or Mehdi. As I said, I didn’t know either of them: Sidonie was a very dear friend of my roomate’s neighbor. Again I don’t know why their case intrigued me so much, it seems as though death is all around me: a girl who I used to play lacrosse with was found dead this morning at her college, allegedly murdered by her boyfriend.
    It seems that with death comes so many questions. I want to ask why the police think that it was Mehdi that tried to save Sidonie and not other way around. I want to ask if Sidonie had any drugs in her body at the time. I want answers to my questions, but the truth is that no one will ever know what transpired in the hours leading up to their death. But more importantly it’s inappropriate of me to ask.
    May both Sidonie and Mehdi rest in peace and may God be with their families at this difficult time. I would like this to be my goodbye to them, but know that it will be some time before I stop thinking of them.
    J

    • atticannie

      We all wish to be very respectful in this tragedy. However, someone some time will probably ask the same questions and something will be published. Sometimes asking questions and getting answers is a painful experience. I am very sorry about your college friend’s death. AA

  24. I.B

    Yes, it is somewhat true that no one will probably ever know “why”, but deep inside of those people who have known them, the answer is easier to find, I am working on this story, i receive new information from his closest ones, meaning his parents and such. Sidonie’s parents are going to come to morocco to pay their respect to the boy who has attempted to save their daughter. Yesterday , a source told me , that the investigation crew had found new evidence.The area from the picnic to the fence is filled with their footsteps. The girl’s footsteps are a bit further than his, i would probably say they were just going for a fun walk with one another. Though what is surprising is that the area from the fence to the cliff has no footsteps on it. NO footsteps, instead there is prints of sliding bodies. What is more shocking is that they never climbed the fence. The fence was found bent over. This is what investigators presume: Sidonie or mehdi, had put pressure on the fence, no one knows what kind, maybe they were using it as a support. the fence then fell over, which explains why they found it that way. after Sidonie had slipped over mehdi jumped over to catch her , and they slid all the way from the fence to the end of the cliff, that is where he held on to her until they fell together, that is when their hands let go and because he held on her hand so dearly, her glove slipped and stayed in his hand.

    The reason im putting effort into explaining all this is that : because he was a friend i feel the need to clear this matter, i want people to leave his memory rest in peace . He deserves it, They deserve it, it has been clear that they were two unique irreplacable people. and for Mehdi, I have to say that i wouldnt expected less of him. I would like people to respect this. Living without his smile is hard and no one would imagine how much pain we feel when people who have never known him presume false things.We want a clean , truthfull peacefull memory for our friend. Thank you for understanding and allowing me to express myself on your blog.

  25. atticannie

    Although we always talk about the need to be willing to lay down our lives for others, there are very few times in the lives of all we know where that decision has to be made. Evidently he risked his life to try to save hers. That is very admirable and at least a small consolation to his parents who will probably never know the all encompassing “why”? Thank you for sharing. AA

  26. I.B

    I would like to say, that knowing mehdi, that he was not in pain, and if he climbed that barbed wire which i heard was made of wood, not really that high, then it was for all the reasons of the world than to “end his pain. ” A boy who always smiles , a boy who always cheers u up, always making jokes, NEVER IN MY LIFE DID I SEE HIM MAD OR SAD. It has been found that Sidonie had slipped, and he tried to catch her, but since there was th cliff , he held on to her until she pulled them both down, when they found them , her glove was in his hand. I know that people presume things, but mehdi didnt want to end his pain, mehdi had no pain. Mehdi ended OUR pains. may god bless them and R.I.P. miss you so much ❤

  27. j

    their story really got to me. I don’t know maybe because it’s finals and I’m already stressed out, I don’t know either of them. Sidonie is a friend of a friend of a friend (a stretch, I know). Apparently Sidonie went to a top prep school in NYC, but got expelled in the fall for cocaine and was sent to a swiss boarding school. It all seems so glamorous, like it should be on gossip girl or something. A gathering for Sidonie will be held at a flat on Madison Avenue, her RIP facebook group is dotted with french comments. The AP byline reads “Swiss police: US, Moroccan die in cliff fall.” She is refered to as an American woman, he a Moroccan man when they were just teenagers– high schoolers for goodness sake!– when they died. While I want to imagine them as wordly, cultured citizens of the world, I can’t help but feel sorry for them and think that somewhere between in snowcovered alps lies a childhood unlived.

    • atticannie

      How beautifully put. The children at “prestigious” boarding schools,( and yes, I agree with you about the term “man” and “woman”) are at the opposite end of the social spectrum from the children I taught for twenty years. But they all have one thing in common. They all have the same basic needs and desires for love and family. It is so sad when those needs are not met. I had the privilege of knowing some pretty outstanding parents with very few material possessions who made certain that their children knew they were loved and wanted. Sometimes those with the most, in comparison, are left with the least. I’m still interested in knowing whether this was an “accident”. No school in the world can stop children who are bent on escaping their pain. Climbing over barbed wire to me is a huge hint. Thank you for sharing. AA

    • jean

      it is very sad what happened to sidonie, but just to precise she was born in new york had a persian (iranian) mother and french father
      and to be honest as i was an actual friend of hers (no stretches) if you didn’t just talk about her like that, you don’t know what she went through..
      it seems very easy to say things about people “oh she got kicked out of school for cocaine usage”
      no offence but what do you know? don’t you know that when “word” goes around the story changes A LOT?
      and please keep ur comments as to this should be on gossip girl to yourself because to us it doesnt seem that funny

  28. I.B

    I have known mehdi, he was a student at the american school of marrakech until the 10th grade. I would like to clear matters. If mehdi wanted t be with sidonie, no one wouldve stopped it. In morocco it is possible. and for the drinking of alcohol, well, why wasnt there any older members someone who would notice two “drunk” teenagers walking into the forest, doesnt it ring an alarm, heloooo, they’re probably gonna fall off. There was no security, booze or no booze, they are surrounded by cliffs. The school holds SOME responsibility. I wish patience for his family , and for us his friends, it has been really hard. reallyyy hard. may his soul rest in peace, my BOTH their souls rest in peace, we love u mehdi.

    • atticannie

      My heart is with you. It is so difficult to lose a friend at any age. It is so very painful to have to grieve and then try to heal. I wrote the article from the experience of having raised a son who went to a private school and from having been a teacher. I’m sure the responsibilities of the school in this matter will be addressed. I am hoping the reason they climbed over a barbed wire fence will be found. It is a really sad situation. I agree. May both their souls rest in peace. Thank you for sharing. AA