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Female bullies attack daughter
Nakpangi Joseph, whose daughter has been a victim of bullying by a gang of female students at the Barataria North Secondary School, yesterday urged the Barataria police to lay assault charges against two of the perpetrators.
For Joseph, instructing the police to press charges was the last thing she wanted to do, but she said the girls had gone too far after one of them allegedly choked her 15-year-old daughter outside of the school until she passed out.
After a year of name calling and provocation by the bullies, Joseph said the situation escalated last Wednesday when the girls ambushed her daughter on Third Avenue as she was heading home.
“They started to cuss and pelt stones and glass bottles at my daughter.”
In retaliation, Joseph admitted her daughter, a Form Four student, broke a bottle and threatened to kill her attackers.
“One of the girls ran up to my daughter and grabbed her throat and choked her until she passed out,” Joseph said, adding her daughter was rushed to hospital where she was diagnosed as having suffered an anxiety attack after the incident.
The Community Police intervened and the students were suspended, but still showed up in school the next day, which infuriated Joseph.
For months, Joseph claimed her daughter was constantly harassed and tormented by the girls who made insensitive comments about her “picky” hair and school uniform.
“These bullies are in the habit of breaking classes, picking on children and taxing students,” Joseph said, showing Guardian Media the official ticket for the report she made at the station and confirming police called her yesterday to confirm whether she was going ahead with assault charges against her daughter’s alleged attackers.
“These girls operate as a clique. I know pressing charges would have repercussions for my daughter, but I am not going to take her out of school. This is the first thing parents do when their children are bullied in school. Then the bully looks for their next victim.”
Of the three girls, two were suspended for one week while the other got 14 days.
Joseph’s daughter was suspended from November 13 to 15 for breaking a bottle and threatening to kill children after school.
But the mother feels her daughter should not have been temporarily sent home since she was only defending herself.
“You have to sacrifice something for wrongdoing to stop. There are more victims in the school but they are afraid to come forward. These children are living in fear.”
She admitted that there was an indiscipline problem at the school.
“The school has to separate the bullies from the students who want to learn. Don’t continue to sweep this problem under the rug.”
She claimed to have a taped conversation where a dean admitted to being afraid of giving a female student a suspension letter because she was fearful the girl might retaliate.
Contacted yesterday on the issue, Education Minister Anthony Garcia said he was not aware of the incident.
“Those are operational issues that are dealt with at the level of the school. If the principal finds that it is a serious offence, he/she will use their powers and suspend the student.” If the situation is grave, Garcia said the principal could apply for an extended suspension and then it would come to him.
“I am the one who has to decide whether the student is put on extended suspension.”
Told that Joseph has pressed charges, Garcia said that was her prerogative.