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Pupil badly beaten in alleged bullying incident

Sunday, February 25, 2018
Victim shows his swollen lips. PICTURE ROBERTO CODALLO

A Standard Three pupil of the Munroe Road Government Primary School (MRGPS) was brutally attacked by four older pupils on Wednesday while on the school compound, minutes after school was officially dismissed for the day.

Not only did the boys gang up and beat him, he was also reportedly dragged on the stony ground.

The boy, ten, is now left with a swollen abdomen, gaping wounds to his legs and arms along with several other bruises to the head and rest of his body.

This, however, is not the first attack, but is said to be the worst of similar attacks by the same group of boys over the past months.

The incidents, the parents confirmed, have been reported to the Cunupia Police Station and the Ministry of Education’s District Office in Couva. Both the police and the ministry have launched independent investigations. WPC James is one of the investigators in the matter.

Speaking with the Sunday Guardian, the boy’s mother said she went to the school at 3.05 pm to pick up her son when she saw him bruised and bleeding. His lips were also burst.

“It stemmed from a school bag, where one of the boys took his school bag and knocked over my son’s school bag and him in the process. It escalated from there into the fight where my son was badly beaten, kicked and dragged,” the mother said.

The mother took her son to the Cunupia Police Station and he was subsequently taken to the Chaguanas Health Facility that day. Around midnight, the child was taken to the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex Paediatric Emergency Department via an ambulance where he underwent further medical examination, including X-rays and scans.

The mother said she was told that she could take her child home but he must be closely monitored. If his condition worsens, she was told, he would have to be taken back to hospital. "He is home in pain, but resting. Now I have to put on pampers for him because he cannot reach to the bathroom in time.

"Could you imagine what I am going through right now? I am fed up of my son getting beaten up.

"We would always go to meet the acting principal and would eventually realise that nothing is being done to these bullies. My son was even suspended on three times because he was involved in fights. They don’t want to know whether or not he is the victim, but how come the other boys weren’t suspended too? We not even sure if the parents are being informed or what is happening, but this stops here," the mother said. She has taken the matter to her attorney.

The mother said when she along with the boy’s step-father attempted to meet with the school’s principal on Thursday at about 11 am, the security guard told them that no one was allowed on the school compound.

“We were even told that we could not go to meet with the principal." They, however, met with the president of the PTA who was at the school.

On Friday, both parents met with an official at the Ministry of Education’s District Office in Couva, where another report was made.

The principal Jim Paul Rajkumar confirmed that the incident is being investigated by the police and that he could not comment further. "It is an alleged incident being investigated. The supervisors are aware of it and the file was sent up there. There are a lot of allegations being made but the matter is still under investigation," Rajkumar said.

Minister of Education Anthony Garcia said he is yet to receive a report on the matter.

However, he made it clear that any principal or teacher who “fails to report or deal with school bullying incidents or runs afoul of their regulations they can face disciplinary action.”

Generally, he said there has been a mass reduction of school violence and indiscipline in schools.


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