“I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.” —Margaret Thatcher
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Boy, 16, beaten in school attack
Claxton Bay mother Shirlyn Ramnarine is demanding Education Minister Dr Tim Gopeesingh take immediate action to address bullying and increasing school violence. Her appeal came after her 16-year-old son, Ajay, a Fifth Form student of Presyal High School, was attacked by a schoolmate yesterday and beaten on the head with a piece of iron on the school compound. Ajay received two wounds on his head which required seven and eight stitches respectively. His alleged attacker, also 16, was taken into police custody late yesterday for questioning. A teenaged girl is believed to be at the centre of the dispute between the boys.
Ramnarine, 30, who spoke in an interview, said school violence was getting out of hand and the ministry needed to take serious action. “This boy is a bully. He was suspended four times. This is the fifth time he has been involved in this kind of incident. “I not dropping this case. People need to know what is going on in the schools. The Ministry of Education needs to deal with bullying,” she said. This is the second violent attack in just over one month in south Trinidad. Last month a Form Four Presentation College, San Fernando, student was stabbed by a fellow student and later inflicted stab wounds on himself after the incident. According to Ramnarine around 12.55 pm her son was on his way to a social studies class when he was confronted by the 16-year-old boy.
She said the boy warned her son to stay away from a teenaged girl he (Ajay) was seen chatting with earlier in the day. “Ajay laugh it off. He thought the boy was ‘kicksing’ and walked away. The boy tell him turn around and when Ajay turn around he kick him. Ajay fall back and the boy come at him. Ajay pushed him and turn to run to the principal office. The boy chased him and Ajay fall.
When he got up the boy come up from behind and hit him on the head with a piece of iron. It was an iron leg from a desk,” she said. Ramnarine said her son told her the boy hit him about four times in his head and he fell to the ground. “I was home when my other son Sanjay, who goes to the same school, called me and tell me ‘come to the school now Ajay get beat up,’” she added.
She said when she got to the school she was terrified by what she saw. “My son was covered in blood. The teachers took off his shirt and bandaged his head until the ambulance reach.
Calls and text messages to Gopeesingh’s cellphone went unanswered last evening.
TTUTA boss: Reflection of society
T&T Unified Teachers Association president (TTUTA) Davanand Sinanan says the time had come for society to intervene in the increasing incidents of school violence. He said what was happening in schools was a reflection of what was happening in society and must be dealt with at a societal level. “The violence we witness in schools is merely reflection of what takes place in the macro society. “We have become a very violent population and we have to look at the root causes of that,” he said. Sinanan said teachers were challenged in the school system as they were forced on a daily basis to deal with students engaging in conflicts. He declined to comment on Ramnarine’s incident. He said he wanted to get a full report from school authorities on the incident and what triggered the violent attack so he could make an informed comment.