Student beaten up
By MIRANDA LA ROSE Tuesday, October 1 2013
OFFICIALS from the American Embassy are said to be involved in the investigations into the beating of a 12-year-old American citizens who was attacked by a schoolmate outside the Sangre Grande Secondary School last week.
The child and her grandmother visited Newsday’s Port-of-Spain head-office yesterday where the grandmother called on the Education Ministry to get tougher with discipline in schools. Denise Cain said her granddaughter suffered bruises to her head, legs and elbow. “The ministry has to do something about discipline and bullying in schools,” Cain said.
Her immediate objective however, is to protect her grandchild. “This is my granddaughter’s safety we are talking about. I am not sending her back to that school,” Cain vowed. She said her granddaughter was also pushed in front of a moving car by her assailant, a schoolmate.
The fight was recorded and a video uploaded to social network Facebook, over the weekend.
The assailant is a Form Two student at the school, but is not in the same class as Cain’s granddaughter.
Relating the incident to Newsday, the 12-year-old who was born in the United States, said in the past, her assailant who is bigger in size and is older, has been taunting her. Last Friday morning, the 12-year-old got involved in a quarrel with the bully at the school compound.
“The bully called me and asked what I have with her. When I did not answer, she told me, ‘why don’t I fix my mouth and weave’. She tried to hit me but some boys pulled me away and told me to go into my classroom,” the victim told Newsday. After classes ended for the day, the victim was walking in the vicinity of a recreation ground situated near the school when she was confronted by a group of about eight students including the bully.
A cohort of the bully, the victim said, pushed her while another from the group grabbed her (the victim) book bag and ran off.
A female teacher who was driving past, stopped and warned the students about fighting before driving off. The victim said the bully kept hitting and pushing her until she fell into a drain. The bully’s friends joined in and began kicking the 12-year-old even as she lay in the drain.
When she got up and tried to run off, the bully grabbed and pushed her out onto the road and into the path of an oncoming car.
Luckily, the driver was able to stop the vehicle before it ran over her. He however just looked at the students and then drove off. Cain said when she saw the state her granddaughter was in on Friday evening, she (Cain) started to cry. She took her to the police station from where the police immediately sent them to the Sangre Grande Hospital for the child to receive medical treatment.
Efforts to contact the school and Education Minister Dr Tim Gopeesingh yesterday for a comment proved futile. It could not be ascertained whether the bully is still allowed to attend classes. The child’s mother is married to an American and they live in the US while the child is living in Trinidad with her (the child’s) grandmother.
The child’s mother, on hearing of the incident, contacted the US Embassy on Marli Street and spoke to several officials who assured her that the Embassy will look into the matter.