Rage and outrage after a 15-year-old Form Three student of the Marabella South Secondary School had to be hospitalised after being beaten by a parent on the school compound on Wednesday.
The incident triggered a violent response from other students who pelted the parent’s car as he left the school.
Marabella police confirmed that they received a report regarding the incident and the matter is being investigated.
Guardian Media was told that the parent is the father of a Form Two student who was involved in a fight with the Form Three student earlier that day.
The incident is just one of several acts of violence at the school involving students physically and verbally attacking other students and teachers.
So fearful are the teachers for their safety that they tread-lightly around the students, especially the so-called “trouble-makers.”
One school official who preferred to remain anonymous said: “This school is like a war zone. Teachers are running scared. We need help here. The principal just has a few months again before he retires and he is not doing enough. Some of these students come from crime spot areas and we don’t want to take any chances.”
The official alleged that the Form Three student would “tax” and bully the Form 2 student.
“Students tax other students and if the students refuse to give up their money they would get beat up.”
However, the mother of the Form Three student said her son and the Form Two student were friends in primary school, but their friendship deteriorated. She claimed the Form Two student frequently threatened her son.
After they fought on Wednesday, she said the Form Two student called his father. “My son was coming out of the school gate when he (the father) grabbed him and began cuffing him on the face.”
She said no one, not even the security guards, tried to help her son. He received stitches for a deep laceration above his right eye which also has a large blood clot. “He could have lost his eye,” she said.
The teen was discharged from the San Fernando General Hospital on Thursday evening but has to attend the eye clinic.
“His eye is swollen and blue-black. He trying to open it and it paining plenty. His nose bridge paining him. They said it look like he has a fracture to his cheekbone, but surgery is not necessary.”
She admitted that her son is arrogant and has a temper, but insisted that she had received no complaints about him “taxing” students.
“I don’t know anything about that. He does give his teachers talks. He get plenty yellow paper already. He does get in nicks and nacks but they see about that in the school. The man was wrong for doing my son this,” she said.
The distraught mother said her son will not be returning to school.
“I heard that the man (parent) and some other fellas went back by the school yesterday with cutlass and thing.”
The woman said she is contemplating sending her son to England to live with his aunt.
But school officials complained about the level of indiscipline at the school. They reported that on Wednesday three male students physically assaulted a female student on the school compound. The girl reportedly had to be taken for medical attention because she was bleeding from her ears.
Wednesday’s incident according to one school official has left teachers even more fearful for their safety, especially as it happened on the school compound.
One official recalled that about three months ago a male teacher was beaten when he tried to part a fight amongst students.
Another student cursed a teacher last Friday and a teacher’s tablet was stolen.
Students phones have also been stolen.
The official also complained that some students were bringing marijuana to school and having sex in the classrooms. “We are frightened, we are frustrated and we are fed up.”
Some teachers have sought medical attention for anxiety problems and stress, he said.
After the incident on Wednesday, the school which was manned by two female security guards was provided with a male security officer.
“We need safety officers, we don’t have any as their contracts have expired. We need regular police patrols. We are afraid for our lives and property,” the official lamented.
The Marabella South Secondary School has a teaching staff population of 43 and a student population of 400.
A Ministry of Education official said they are awaiting a report from the principal and counselling will be provided to the student.
The National Maintenance Training and Security Company Limited (MTS) has also been asked to submit a report about the incident.