|Stabbed Pres boy forgives attacker |
By STACY MOORE Wednesday, February 5 2014
“I FORGIVE him.”
These were the words uttered by the 15-year-old Presentation College San Fernando student who was stabbed to the chest by a 14-year-old schoolmate on Monday morning at the school compound.
After stabbing the 15-year-old, the other student who is 14, reportedly slashed his wrists. The younger student underwent surgery at the San Fernando General Hospital and remains warded in a serious condition.
According to reports, shortly after seven o’clock on Monday morning, the 14-year-old of Gasparillo and 15-year-old of Aripero in South Oropouche were involved in an altercation at the school’s basketball court. It was reported that the younger student stabbed the other in the back and chest. Newsday was told that only last week Friday, the younger student accused the elder one of bullying him.
Reports are that the older student placed a cockroach in the school bag of the 14-year-old last week. Newsday learnt that the 15-year-old was terrified of insects.
Sources said the 15-year-old schoolboy grew tired of being bullied by his 15-year-old schoolmate and armed himself with a knife before leaving home for school. Yesterday, speaking with Newsday with his father at his side, the 15-year-old student said he forgives his attacker. “I did not know he would have taken it so far. But I forgive him,” the soft spoken student told Newsday as he lay on a bed in the San Fernando General Hospital.
The boy said he was not a bully and never bullied the 14-year-old at any time. “We are not friends but we would have spoken to each other from time to time,”the teen said.
The students, both in Form Five, are in different classes. The 15-year-old said that thinking of the incident still instills some fear in him. “I was frightened when it happened. I didn’t believe he would do something like this.” The teen said that shortly after arriving at school on Monday, he was approached by the other student. “He came up to me and said, “I want to tell you something privately”. So I assumed it was some kind of stupid revenge for the prank.” The 15-year-old said he is not the type to bully anyone, but said he merely played a “prank.” “I figured this was going to happen because of the prank the other week. So I was thinking it was a prank he was about to play on me. So I said ‘let’s see how this ends’,” the boy told Newsday.
At the basketball court, the boy related, the other student asked him to close his eyes and put out his hands. “I closed my eyes and stretched out my hands. I thought he was going to put something stupid in my hand, but then I felt the stab,” the student recalled. He was stabbed to the right side of his back and chest.
“I really don’t think it was the right reaction to what I did to him. And I am kind of concerned about why he did it and his mental health,” the student said. Within minutes of the stabbing, the other student was found at the back of the school’s basketball court bleeding from an apparent self-inflicted wound. Both students were rushed to hospital
The boy’s father told Newsday, he is the youngest of three children and has never been sent to the dean or principal for misconduct. The father said he bears no ill-will toward the other student and his focus is on seeing both boys recover.
“I am just thankful no life was lost. I will continue to pray for my boy and the other boy to recover. At the end of the day, that’s how a responsible parent should think,” the man said.
He praised the quick response of other students who assisted his son along with teachers, the acting school principal Dexter Mitchell and doctors and nurses at the hospital.
He added that he had also been in constant contact with the parents of the other teenager. Senior Superintendent Cecil Santana of Southern Division and other officers of the San Fernando Police Station visited the school following the incident. Investigations are continuing. President of the Past Students’ Association of Presentation College, Steven Samlalsingh admitted that his initial reaction was one of shock when he heard of the stabbing incident at his alma mater.
Reminding that he had two sons at Presentation, Samlalsingh said it was something he never expected to hear happening at the school. He said despite the incident, Presentation is a safe school and “the spirit of Pres” will prevail in the end.
He said his “greatest wish is for the two boys to forgive each other and move on.” Samlalsingh said as President of the Past students’ Association, he stands ready to assist, whether it is in providing funds for medical expenses for the affected students or in counselling.