Mother concerned at no word from Education officials
One day after her son, Kester Howes, a student of city primary school, was reportedly assaulted by a classmate’s father, sustaining a gash to his head, Venicia Hodge claims that she is yet to hear from any teacher or official of the Education Ministry.
According to the woman who claims that she was caught up all day yesterday at the police station, as efforts were made to investigate the matter further, she had left a contact number (cellular phone) with the school but got no calls at all.
“They know how to contact me but nobody did,” said the distraught woman, who noted that her son continues to suffer from head and stomach aches even yesterday.
The matter, she said, was yesterday being dealt with the Alberttown police station although it was initially reported at the Brickdam Police Station. At the station yesterday morning she said that the mother and maternal grandparents of Kester’s classmate were at the station but there was no sign of the father, who reportedly committed the act.
However, by later the day the man had reportedly turned up at the station. This newspaper was unable to ascertain whether charges will be made against the man.
Meanwhile, this newspaper has learnt that the matter will have to be investigated at the level of the Ministry of Education Welfare Department. Chief Welfare Officer, Ms Carol Melville when contacted yesterday said that she was unable to comment on the matter as she was facilitating a workshop in Region Ten and would not return to the city until tomorrow.
Howes’s assault reportedly stemmed from a cricket game in the school yard, which ended after the ball was sent flying into an adjacent yard. The lad, with blood streaming from a wound in his forehead, visited this newspaper just after Tuesday afternoon in the company of his distraught mother.
The tearful Howes related a tale of how he was restrained, slapped and shoved into a wall before falling to the ground and hitting his stomach on a piece of wood.
According to the lad, he was among friends playing a game of cricket when the ball was hit over the school fence. He related that after the ball was retrieved a feud between the playing sides started.
Howes said that he and a few of his friends had decided to take the matter to a teacher but he noted that he was attacked as he headed up the school’s stairway. “A set of them just hold me down and juk me up in me belly and then I knock one because I see he knock me…”
It was a short while after, he recounted that the young man’s father arrived at the school accusing him of “beating up me son”. “He push me into the concrete wall and me head bust-up and I fall down and knock me belly on a wood.”
Unwilling to endure the beating any further, Howes made a dash for the school gate effectively evading the grasp of his adult attacker. He headed to the Bourda Market where one of his aunts operates a stall, informing her of the ordeal.
The boy’s mother, who was at work at the time of the incident, said that she first learnt of her son’s dilemma when she received a call from the aunt who simply told her to “come quick…By the time I started heading to the stall they tell me let we go straight to Kaieteur News because we wanted to highlight this matter…”
The woman was advised to take her son to the hospital and file a report with the police.
The matter was reported at the Brickdam Station.
According to Hodge, she was accompanied by a police officer back to the school but all of the relevant information being sought into the matter was not readily forthcoming when requested by the officer.