Girl, 10, found dead in bed

– nine days after kicked in abdomen allegedly by classmate

A ten-year-old girl died yesterday morning, more than one week after she was kicked to her abdomen allegedly by a classmate and her relatives are calling for a thorough investigation into her death.

Roseann Akeila Harris, 10, a Grade Five pupil of St Stephen’s Primary School and of Lot 9 Public Road, La Penitence died around 8 am yesterday.

Harris had related to her relatives that one of her male classmates allegedly inflicted the kick on March 24 at the school and the family is convinced that her death is as a result of the incident. However, the police are awaiting the results of the post-mortem examination.

A police official told Stabroek News yesterday that an investigation has been launched and up to yesterday afternoon efforts were being made to contact/ locate the parents of the classmate.

Roseann Akeila Harris

Reports are that around midday on Friday, March 24, Harris and her classmate had an altercation, during which the classmate dealt her a kick to the abdomen. She was taken to the Georgetown Public Hospital where she was treated and sent away.

On Friday last, she was again taken to the hospital after complaining about pain in her abdomen and returned home hours later, having not seen a doctor. She was discovered lying motionless on her bed yesterday morning by her mother, Samantha Peters. There are no visible marks of violence on her body.

When Stabroek News visited the child’s home yesterday morning, Peters was being comforted by a number of relatives. They were later joined by neighbours and other persons who visited to offer their condolences as the news of Harris’s death spread.

Peters explained that when Harris returned from school on the afternoon of March 24, she noticed that she was not her normal self and enquired what was wrong. “Is my children and like any mother, when I see they appear like something wrong I does want know what happen,” she said.

The woman said that Harris related that one of her classmates had dealt her a kick to her abdomen. “She said she did standing up by she class door and the boy did want pass and she tell he no the teacher don’t want anyone in the class and he kick she in she belly,” Peters explained.

The grieving mother said she asked Harris what she did afterwards and she said that she went to the classmate’s mother, who was at the school, and complained. “So I ask she what he mother say and she tell me that the lady ask he and he seh he never do that and she just say sorry and that was it,” she said.

According to Peters, since the incident, Harris was constantly complaining about pain and was vomiting. She explained that on the first occasion when she took her to the hospital, doctors ordered an ultrasound and an x-ray, but neither reportedly revealed any injury. As a result, she was sent away. “When I carry she back on Friday we didn’t get to see nobody they just had we there waiting long and she tell me she want come home because she feel to lay down,” Peters said.

“Yesterday morning before ah go wash, I peep she and tell she when I done I gon bathe her and so but while washing she sister come and tell me that she ain’t moving,” Peters said, adding that in disbelief she went and checked only to confirm what she had been told.

Peters said her family did not know the classmate or his relatives, but no one had come forward to say anything. What was worse, she said, was that they had not called or visited to offer their sympathy.

“Her father went to the Headmistress and I don’t know what she tell he… When he come home and I ask he just ain’t saying nothing,” she said.

The woman explained that the kicking incident was not the first in which the same classmate allegedly hurt her daughter. She said Harris had previously returned home with bruises to her ankle and knee and when she enquired, her daughter had said that the said classmate had thrown her down in school. She said her daughter’s father had gone to the school a few times to lodge complaints.

Harris’s body is at the Lyken Funeral Home awaiting a post-mortem examination which is expected to be conducted soon. She was described as a very quiet and easy-going child who was known for always completing her chores on time.

She leaves to mourn her parents and three siblings.

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