An eleven-year-old boy died last month after he was reportedly beaten with a cricket bat while at school and his relatives are accusing the school of dragging its feet on the investigation.
Troy Ryan Livan, a resident of Bounty Hall, Essequibo and a Grade Six student of the 8th of May Primary School died on May 16. Though the boy had managed to tell relatives before he died that he was attacked by three male students and hit in the head, neck and belly, a post-mortem examination stated that the child died from diabetes, according to his aunt Judy Livan. Judy said she is convinced that it was the blows that killed the child since he was never ill except for the customary cold and fever.
Further, she said that the family has gotten no satisfaction from the school although the names of the children involved were supplied.
Efforts to get a comment from the Ministry of Education on the issue were futile. Stabroek News had sent correspondence to the Ministry on Monday on the matter and was told yesterday that it is engaging the attention of the minister.
A teary-eyed Judy visited Stabroek News earlier this week and said that she wants justice for her nephew’s death.
She related that the child who sat the Grade Six exam this year returned to school on May 15 after going home for lunch. She explained that since they had already written exams the students would usually play games during the afternoon session.
The distraught woman said that based on what she was told, Livan was playing cricket when an argument erupted after someone did not get a chance to play. She said that three boys, all Grade Six students chased Livan to the washroom area where one reportedly hit him with the cricket bat to the neck, another hit him in the head and another began cuffing him to the belly.
She said that her nephew fell to the ground and the three boys ran away. Judy said that when he managed to “catch himself”, Livan went to his classroom and sat down. She said that the teacher was in the class at that moment and the child recounted to him what had transpired and said that he wasn’t feeling well. ‘That teacher did nothing”, she said, adding that as the child was heading home he collapsed in front of the school gate and began to vomit.
Judy alleged that teachers who were passing shouted at the child to get up and go home.
The child’s sister, she said, happened to be in the area and Livan told her to go and tell his grandfather that his head was hurting and that he was not “going to make it”.
According to Judy, it was a man who was passing on a bicycle who picked him up and took him home.
While at home, Judy said that the child’s mother Roxanna asked him what had happened and he told her that he couldn’t see anymore.
Judy said that the child related the incident to her and called three names. When questioned as to why he did not tell his teacher anything, Judy said that the mother related to her that he did tell his teacher but nothing was done. Livan, she said was later rushed to the Charity Hospital after his condition took a turn for the worse. He complained of dizziness and his “eyes were turned back”.
After being assessed by the doctor, the child was given an injection and a bag of saline. She said that it was at this point she was told about what had transpired and when she spoke to the doctor he said that the child’s heart rate, blood pressure and sugar level were alright.
Judy said the doctor then told her that it seemed as though the child sustained a hit and he would be transferred to the Suddie Hospital. By this time the child was unresponsive. The doctor at Suddie, she said, later told relatives that his sugar level was 240 and he was given some insulin but still he was not responding.
Arrangements were then put in place to have him transferred to the Georgetown Hospital on the steamer. His mother, Judy said, has five young children and the woman went home to pack clothing for them to accompany Livan to Georgetown.
On her way back to the hospital around 4 am (on May 16) she received the news that he had died.
Judy who lives in Georgetown told Stabroek News amidst tears said that she was supposed to meet them at the Parika Stelling. She said that she subsequently made contact with the head teacher at the school but instead of listening to her, she kept raising her voice. She said that the school is denying that the child was attacked in the toilet. “He wasn’t sick. He was a strong healthy child”, she said. Judy added that when she saw the body, the right side of his face was swollen, there was a huge bump on his neck and black and blue marks on parts of his body.
“I want to call on the authorities to do something. We want to hear answers…” she said adding that she does not want to see another child end up in a similar situation.