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Beaten schoolgirl among 4 suspended

News day / “My child should not have had to apologise to anyone but she did it anyway. That is not right. She is the victim here. The principal made her apologise to two girls. The two girls also apologised to her and one admitted to hitting her two cuffs. But, what I saw in the video, it was more than two cuffs my daughter got,” said the child’s distraught mother.

She is the mother of Form Two pupil of the Mayaro Secondary School, who was severely beaten by female schoolmates. The family lives at La Brea Village, Guayaguayare.

A video of the incident is circulating on social media and shows a motionless female student being dragged out of a concrete drain and placed on the pavement after she was pummelled by a group of students.

The Education Ministry in a media release confirmed that four female students – one in Form One and three others in Form Two – were placed on seven-days suspension by the school’s principal “pending further investigations”.

Education Minister Anthony Garcia together with a team of officials from the Ministry will be visiting the school this morning.

“There is the possibility that my daughter may suffer brain damage.

We have to pay $1,800 to do a head scan privately and we do not have the money to do that. She is forgetting things and is complaining about headaches. She is not in a right frame of mind,” said the mother of five.

She also called for the attackers to be expelled from school so that they do not repeat such actions on anyone.

The mother, a housewife, explained that during the day on Tuesday, female students were ‘provoking’ her daughter in a classroom by using derogatory terms to describe her. One of the attackers walked into her daughter’s class saying she will “deal with her home-time”.

The mother related that her daughter told her that a male teacher who saw the confrontation when he entered the classroom suggested that they “take it outside and deal with it when school over”.

“He never asked about the nature of the conversation or gave her advice like to take it to the principal’s office. It could have been resolved in school. When school was over, she remained by guards’ booth for a while until the place cleared. She walked down the hill, not knowing they were waiting for her,” the mother added.

Outnumbered, a group of female students began to beat and kick the student during which she fell to the pavement and lost consciousness. A group of students cheered while the girl was being beaten. A taxi driver and a man believed to be a priest were passing and saw the commotion.

They transported the unconscious girl to the Mayaro District Health Facility where she was discharged at about 8 pm on Tuesday.

The following day, the mother and injured daughter went to the school where they met with the principal and social workers. The mothers of two of the attackers were also present and suggested that as parents they must “keep talking to our children”.

“She tried to avoid any confrontation by waiting for the children to go home. My child got her licks and did not raise her hands to hit anyone. We understand that this (provocation) has been happening for a while but she never told us because she said she was not taking them on,” the mother said.

She noted that officials from the Ministry are yet to contact her or even offer counselling services, which the mother believes is necessary to all the schoolgirls involved in the incident.

“Something has to be done. I think they all need counselling.

My daughter needs to open herself to people around her, like myself and close relative. No one from the Ministry contacted us and my daughter does not want to return to school so we are seeking a transfer,” the mother told Newsday.

To add to their troubles, the mother said that officers of the Mayaro Police Station refused to take a report of the incident although she visited the station four times since it occurred. She said police told her that if her daughter is feeling unwell, they cannot obtain a statement from her.

“I will have to go to another station to lodge a report if this continues I may also have to seek legal action. She keeps crying and she does not want what happened to her, happen to someone else. She even asked me why we keep going back to the station if they are not doing anything,” the mother said.

The incident has also placed a financial strain on the family as the child’s father, the sole breadwinner of the home, is a taxi driver and for the past week he has had to take time off to transport his daughter back and forth.

Over the past few weeks, three students, Dario Persad, 14, of the San Fernando West Secondary school lost his memory after he was knocked unconscious by another student, while 9-year-old Tristan Khan of the Mayaro Government primary suffered a broken right arm after he was beaten by a bully and Ehsan Hosein, 8, of Carapichaima ASJA Primary sustained a broken left arm after he too was beaten. In the past few weeks, there had been several reports of complaints about bullying amongst students both at the primary and secondary school level.

On February 1, Tristan Khan, nine, of Mayaro Government Primary dislocated and broken his right hand. It is alleged a classmate cuffed, kicked, and stomped upon him during recess.

Dario Persad, 14, a student of San Fernando West Secondary School, suffered memory loss after a fellow student repeatedly punched him and slammed his head against a wall on February 7 in a classroom.On March 7, Ehsan Hosein, eight, of the ASJA Primary School in Carapichaima suffered a broken arm after a student allegedly pushed him to the ground while playing at school.

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