San Fernando Jama Masjid worshippers hid in their mosque on Wednesday night when a man walked onto the masjid’s compound and killed the son of a popular People’s National Movement (PNM) activist.
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Mucurapo school fight victim getting transfer
The Form Two student who was the main victim in last Friday’s fight outside the Mucurapo West Government Secondary School is expected to be transferred to another school, her mother Chrislyn Fairbairn said yesterday. She also expressed concern that repeated complaints to the school’s authorities, including the principal, had gone unheeded. Fairbairn said since her daughter was in Form One she had been beaten and repeatedly threatened by a gang of female students who were known bullies at the school.
“From day one when all this happened, I have been going to the dean and the principal. Every time is the victim’s family keep coming and not the parents of the girls who doing the beating,” Fairbairn told the T&T Guardian. “Instructions would be given to hand out suspension letters and then everything would go back to normal.”
She said last term she got information her daughter was the target of a beating and when she went to the police to make a report, she was referred to the Community Policing Unit and to the Education Ministry. “The reason we got is that they were minors,” Fairbairn added.
She said her daughter also started staying away from school on Fridays, as beatings occurred particularily on that day.
“Then the form teacher called me to say I should send her to school because exams coming up, so I sent her and the poor child get beaten,” Fairbairn said. She said her daughter was attacked by some 21 female students as she made her way home last Friday. “My daughter is five feet, one and she is about 105 pounds if so much. If wasn’t for her friends who jumped in to help her things would have been much worse,” Fairbairn added.
Ten female students have been suspended pending the outcome of an investigation by the Ministry of Education. The matter is also now being probed by the police. Acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams says the file on the schoolgirl fight will be sent to head of Western Division Senior Sup Ishmael David. In a telephone interview yesterday, Williams said he could not make any statements on whether criminal charges would be laid, as he had not seen the statements from the students or saw the video.
On the broader issue of school violence, Williams said that kind of behaviour was reprehensible. But at the same time, he said , treating such incidents immediately with the full force of the law should be the last resort. He added: “At the end of the day these are children going to school. Their behaviour is totally unacceptable but this does not change the fact that they are children.
“We also have to look carefully at what may have triggered such violence... whether it may problems at the homes, problems in the community and we have to make every effort to find solutions to these problems.