Jamaican teacher stabbed by suspended students

(Jamaica Observer) ALEXANDRIA, St Ann — Dean of discipline at the Aabuthnott Gallimore High Gavin Myers, who was injured by a group of Grade 11 male students last Friday, is recuperating in hospital.

In the meantime, the school board will meet in an emergency session today to address the incident which has left the teacher nursing stab wounds and a broken leg.

The 31-year-old male teacher, who had worked for several years as a youth empowerment officer in the parish and who has been the school’s dean of discipline for just over a year, was attacked by about five boys who were on suspension from the institution.

“They should not have been at school…,” Myers told the Jamaica Observer from his hospital bed yesterday. The boys, he said, were sent home because of their disruptive behaviour and were only to return to sit their external exams.

“… We have records to show that these boys have been involved in everything violent. Some of them [have been involved in] intimidation, robbery… and trust me, they are problem students,” Myers said.

Myers was attacked about 1 o’ clock last Friday afternoon by the boys who were spotted on the school compound earlier in the day, allegedly with scissors. He said the boys gained entry to the school compound through a broken perimeter fence, pointing out that had the fence been intact the students could not have entered the premises.

He explained that the school was having a ‘Girls Day’ function when the incident unfolded in front of several students and some teachers. Myers said he went to the boys to ask them to leave the school compound when he was attacked.

“In trying to get them to leave the school, and in trying to guide them in a direction, this happened,” Myers said. “Myself and a teacher were talking to them, one of the boys refused. He went downstairs and was coming back with a stone so I went downstairs to block his manoeuvre…” Myers said it was at that time that he was attacked and stabbed and a stone which one of the boys threw at him broke his left leg. He was rushed to the nearby Alexandria community hospital by a parent, but was later transferred to another facility.

Acting Principal Netta Nevers declined to speak on the matter, noting that a report on the incident had already been sent to the Ministry of Education.

She, however, noted that the school board would convene a meeting today with staff members to address the incident. Efforts to reach acting regional director at the ministry’s Region Three offices in Brown’s Town, Anthony Gray, were unsuccessful as he was said to be out of office for the day.

Meanwhile, commanding officer for the St Ann police, Senior Superintendent Carlton Wilson said a report on the incident had been received and that investigators were now probing the alleged attack.

SSP Wilson said the students who were alleged to have been involved in the incident have been identified and that efforts were being made to locate them.

Myers, who was in high spirits when the Observer visited yesterday, said despite the unfortunate incident, which has left him hospitalised, the school was making some success in dealing with indiscipline among students.

“I am very thankful good people are there [but] something has to be done to ensure that they (disruptive students) don’t threaten the good order,” said Myers. Several students, he said, had rushed to his aid after the incident.

He also commended the school’s nurse, other members of staff and the parent who had taken him to hospital. The unfortunate incident, he said, should not overshallow the many positives at the institution.



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