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Mother pleads to Ministry of Education for her suspended child

Mother pleads to Ministry of Education for her suspended child


The mother of a teenaged student is calling on the relevant authorities to do what needs to be done so that her son can return to school.

Gibson Corner resident Vanessa Antoine told SEARCHLIGHT yesterday that her son, Cheslon, has not been to school since he was suspended from the Buccament Bay Secondary {{more}}School (BBSS) on February 17, 2015.

Relating what had happened that led to his suspension, the 14-year-old said he was behind the school compound with a friend during the lunch period when a female student passed by.

He explained that his friend told the girl that “she suck something for $10,” following which the female student hit him (Cheslon) on his back.

The boy said he retaliated by slapping the girl across her face.

Antoine said the matter was reported to the school’s deputy principal, who she alleges locked the boy in a room and beat him.

“If you see what he do the child skin,” the upset mother said.

She also alleges that as a result of the beating, dark marks appeared on the boy’s back and arm. Additionally, according to Antoine, the boy was suspended for one week.

The mother said when she attempted to speak with the principal of the BBSS Kay Martin-Jack, she was turned away.

Antoine, who makes her living as a vendor, said it was at this point that she decided to go to the Ministry of Education, where she spoke with the senior education officer with responsibility for secondary schools, Asfo Stephens.

“The man (Stephens) tell me he go deal with that. Every time me go check um, he always busy. Me does dey dey all ah two, three hours… me just get vex and walk way,” she said, adding that she had tried to get a transfer for her son on many occasions before he was suspended on February 17.

“That’s the height ah wickedness. [You] can’t treat people children so. If ah some rich person, dem done [do something]. Because me ah poor woman, they get me ah beat me round the bush. Sometimes when you hear dem lash um ah school and he go to the headteacher, the headteacher does say go back in your class, me na war hear nothing.”

Antoine told SEARCHLIGHT that they could have dealt with the situation differently and that her son should not have been both beaten and suspended. Additionally, she noted that it is frustrating for her that her son is not in school, because he cannot stay with her during work hours because she sells alcohol.

“He willing to go back to school,” she said. “Night time me can’t even sleep good just because me child out of school.”

The 14-year-old told SEARCHLIGHT yesterday that he would like to go back to school so that he could learn and get to fifth form and possibly college.

Principal of the BBSS Kay Martin-Jack declined to comment on the matter when she, spoke with us yesterday. She however, referred SEARCHLIGHT to the Ministry of Education. We were unsuccessful, despite repeated attempts, in our efforts to reach senior education officer Asfo Stephens for a comment.(BK)