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Saturday 18 August 2018
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Tobago

Police, THA probe chopping of schoolboy

Tobago police and officials from the Division of Education are investigating an incident on Tuesday evening in which Deshawn Guy, a Form Three student of Signal Hill Secondary school, was warded at the Scarborough General Hospital, nursing a chop wound to the head after an altercation outside the Scarborough Library, Gardenside Street, Scarborough.

An one-minute video uploaded on social media on Tuesday night shows male students dressed in the Signal Hill Secondary school uniform, fighting with other boys, dressed in plain clothing and carrying objects in their hands.

A second video on social media showed Guy sitting on a bench near the Amphitheatre to the back of the library, with a wound to his head from which blood dripped onto his school clothes. He was surrounded by other students and a security guard is seen assisting him. Guy was taken to the Scarborough General Hospital where he received medical treatment and was warded in a stable condition before being released on Wednesday.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Garfield Moore told Newsday Tobago on Wednesday that investigations into the incident are continuing and that he had no information of any arrest at that time.

Chief Secretary Kelvin Charles, who is also Secretary of Education, could not be reached for comment but a release from the Division on Wednesday evening said officials have launched “a full-scale investigation into the matter.”

“The Division continues to work swiftly and thoroughly in an effort to rectify the situation,” the release added.

Food Production Secretary Hayden Spencer, speaking at Wednesday’s post-Executive Council meeting at the Administrative Complex in Calder Hall, said the incident was not discussed by THA Secretaries, but post-meeting, members had expressed concerns about the “direction in which young people (in Tobago) are heading.”

He said comments were expressed on “the kind of things that we are seeing now… and to devise a way on how, what can we put in place to really treat with these matters that keep popping up here, there and everywhere within the school system.”

Meanwhile, Tobagonians took to social media to voice disappointment with the Tobago police and security officials at the Scarborough Library, as they noted that issues of schoolchildren loitering on the library’s compound long after school hours has been a sore topic for the last three years. Some commenters said Tuesday’s incident could have been avoided if police and security officials had dealt with the delinquent students before.

On commenter, Devon Butcher said, “police need to run them delinquent children from the (Scarborough) library area during the day. I always know fight would’ve broken out there eventually with those disrespectful disgusting children around that area.”

Efforts to contact Guy’s relatives were unsuccessful.

On January 17, Signal Hill Secondary school also made news as regards school violence when Jaden Pereira, a Form Five student, sustained injuries to his head following an altercation with other students on the school’s compound. He was hit on the head with a concrete object and knocked unconscious. He was rushed to the Scarborough General Hospital at Signal Hill where he was immediately flown to Trinidad for further medical assistance. His skull was fractured, and part of his skull is now missing after receiving surgery at the Port-of-Spain General Hospital.

Jaden’s father, Sean Pereira, says that his son continued to experience dizziness and headaches weeks after the injury and has not been able to return to classes. Relatives of Pereira have since taken legal action against the Division of Education.

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