Mother angry with lack of action

Mother of the PBC Student, Bernadette Billy – frustrated over the incident

The mother of a 13-year-old student of the Presentation Brothers College (PBC) is furious about the lackadaisical manner in which a violent attack on her son by one of his teachers is being handled.

Self-employed Bernadette Billy walked into the office of THE NEW TODAY newspaper on Tuesday to express her frustration over the handling of the incident involving her son and a teenaged teacher at the prestigious secondary school.

This newspaper was informed that the attack on the student arose from a paper-throwing incident between students and the teacher inside a classroom.

THE NEW TODAY understands that the teacher had finished his stint with the students and was on the verandah when her son approached him to indicate that he himself had thought of throwing paper at him but did not do it.

According to the mother, her son attempted to get the teacher to understand that the students meant no harm to him and did not want him to give them detention.

Reports are that the male teacher who completed his tertiary education at the close of the last school year slammed the student into a railing and started squeezing his throat to the point where the student started bleeding from the nose.

A very distraught Ms Billy said that even after her son collapsed, she learned from students at the school who watched the attack that the teacher also kicked the youngster while he was on the ground.

The teenager’s mother said that she was informed that her son fainted and had to be given CPR on the compound.

An emotional Ms. Billy, originally from Carriacou, said it was a school student who informed her hours later about the incident.
She said that her son on his return home later in the afternoon (on October 23), complained that his head was hurting and that she noticed his nostrils were bleeding.

A tearful mother told THE NEW TODAY that her son was left in the school for the entire school day without being taken to see a doctor.

She said that she had to take her bleeding son to the St. George’s General Hospital where she waited until midnight but left after failing to see a doctor.

She added that they returned the following day to the hospital and that was when a doctor looked at him.

The mother complained that no one from PBC contacted her to inform her of what happened between her son and the teacher and the following Monday (October 29th) she summoned an emergency meeting with the Principal, as well as representative from the Ministry of Education, the teacher and a counselor to deal with the issue.

She said she also made a report to the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) through Central Police Station on the Carenage.

The mother spoke of being unhappy with the response received from the mother of the schoolteacher when she got a chance on the telephone to speak to her about the incident.

She accused the mother of speaking in a harsh manner to her, indicating that the matter was being handled by the Ministry of Education and proceeded to slam down the phone on her.

Minutes before entering the doors of THE NEW TODAY, Ms Billy had just emerged from a meeting held at the Ministry of Education with all parties concerned but she left feeling that there was no satisfaction following the incident and no genuine sympathy from the teacher.

She said she was prepared to accept a genuine apology from the teacher but that was not forthcoming.

She has retained the services of a local attorney-at-law to seek justice for her son whom she says is traumatised as a result of the incident.

Meanwhile, Principal of the College, Brother Dominic Jeremiah has dismissed certain section of the story that was carried in last week’s edition of the newspaper.

He confirmed to THE NEW TODAY Editor, Wayne Modeste that there was an incident but no such thing as bleeding came from the nose of the student and that the young man did not fall unconscious.

However, the boy’s mother confirmed that her son did bleed through the nose following the incident.

This newspaper was also able to get a copy of a letter dated October 23, 2012 that was sent to the mother of the affected child by the School Principal:

Presentation Brothers College
Old Fort Road
St George’s

Dear Mrs Billy,

This is a follow up to the phone call that I made to you this afternoon concerning the incident that transpired between your son (name withheld) and (name of teacher withheld).

As I indicated to you this matter was not handled professionally by (the teacher). I have since spoken to him on the matter and he will have to meet with both of us (as) soon to discuss what happened today.

I have also spoken to (the student) and he admitted that some of the students were being disruptive during (the Teacher) class and that what they did is an act of disrespect – throwing paper at him while class is in session.

My Deputy Principal have given me a verbal report of what transpired and I have also met with (the teacher) in the presence of my Vice-Principal to let him know that he did not handle the matter properly.

As a precautionary measure, I have spoken to Doctor Deborah Ann John whose office is situated next to CK’s Supermarket in Grand Anse, to examine (the student) to ensure that all is well with him. He appears to be fine, but we want to make sure that that is the case.

She was unable to see him this afternoon, but I will like you to take him to her office at 8:00 a.m. tomorrow morning. She has agreed to see him and all expenses for his visit will be covered by the school.

We are deeply sorry for the manner in which (the) incident was handled and we will do all within our power to work with (student) to ensure that he grows and develop into a responsible young man.

Thank you for your understanding in this matter. Please feel free to call me at any time at 405-1237.

Yours sincerely,
Mr. Dominic Jeremiah
Principal, PBC

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