By Robert A. Emmanuel
The parent who reportedly physically assaulted and injured the Principal of Mary E Piggott Primary School, last Wednesday, causing him to be treated in hospital, will appear in the St John’s Magistrates’ Court this morning to answer to charges brought against him over the weekend.
Michael Samuel of Bathlodge was charged with battery and malicious damage after he allegedly beat Reverend Christopher Roberts — an Anglican minister in addition to his school duties —following the suspension of his son a day prior to the incident. He was arrested by the police on Friday.
According to an interview with Observer media, Samuel alleged that his son was beaten by the principal to the point where he needed medical attention.
The single parent father alleged that when he went to the school to enquire into the matter, the principal sought to leave the school premises without meeting with him.
Samuel is being represented in the case at Attorney Wendel Robinson.
Education officials, union officials, politicians and other residents have condemned the actions of the father prior to Friday’s arrest.
Director of Education Clare Browne called the actions of the father reprehensible, stating that staff and students were left traumatised by the incident, while President of the Teacher’s Union, Casroy Charles called it atrocious and implored parents to use a level head when dealing with matters relating to their children.
The Director of Education said that the future of the student at the centre of the incident will be assessed by Ministry of Education officials.
Meanwhile, both Minister of Education Daryll Matthew and the Member of Parliament for St John’s Rural West Richard Lewis both condemned the attack during the Budget Debate last week Friday and Thursday, respectively.
Also, during an appearance on Observer media’s Big Issues programme yesterday, Dr Arline Edwards-Joseph, a university professor in Counsellor Education, called for more parents to engage in conflict resolution techniques and training.