By Elesha George
A family is considering taking legal action against the principal of the Clare Hall Secondary School (CHSS) after a 5th form student had to be treated in hospital after he sustained stab wounds during an altercation with a schoolmate.
Last Tuesday, 16-year-old Je-dourea King had to undergo emergency surgery at the Mount St John’s Medical Centre (MSJMC) because his lungs reportedly collapsed after he received a puncture wound to the chest.
“From since Tuesday morning he left here, I haven’t seen him yet,” his grandmother Jackie King told Observer.
The woman said for over a year, a group of boys have been harassing her grandson to the point where he was fearful of going to school on time.
“They send out message saying he was supposed to dead yesterday. Them ah tell him goodbye because yesterday would be his last day on earth,” she shared.
The 5th form student decided to leave for school early last week Tuesday which was when she said her grandson was attacked by a number of boys after school.
The grandmother claimed that the boys blocked both of the school’s exits. One boy, stood at one the gates holding a knife, and King, she was told, turned and started walking away from the boy who started to follow him.
“He [King] picked up a plank and when the boy coming after him, he hit him … he end up backing up into a car and the boy stab him. The boy stab him in his chest, he didn’t even realise,” she said.
King was reportedly picked up by a bus driver who offered to take him home but the boy insisted that he be taken to his cousin’s work place instead.
“I believe it’s the spirit of the Lord, he tell the bus man he don’t want to go home, he want to go by his cousin,” she said, adding that the cousin later asked the driver to take him to the hospital.
“The doctor say 20 minutes later he would have been a dead man, so it is the spirit of the Lord telling him not to come home because if he come home I would have to [get] somebody to take him to the hospital and by the time he reach he dead,” was her belief.
According to the distressed woman, it all began in June 2019, when her grandson told police who he had seen hanging around when his friend’s bike was stolen.
“From then, my grandson can’t get any peace down Clare Hall School,” Jackie said, adding that a group of boys would heckle the 16-year-old whenever he would pass through the school’s corridor.
According to the woman, last October King was badly beaten after a fight broke out in the school’s corridor between him and a handful of other male students. She said all the boys including her grandson were taken to the police station and later suspended from school for two weeks.
“He had was to go to the dentist, he had to do head scan, he had to do scan all over the boy body, where he swell up and so – how they beat him up,” she recalled.
The trouble continued for King when he returned to school last November, when he told his grandmother that a group of boys assaulted him and stole his school bag while on his way to his friend’s house.
In December, more boys attacked him and his friend as they left the cinema. The harassment would continue into the New Year, the grandmother shared, saying “School close down for the coronavirus and every day they send out threatening message to him. Somebody always pick it up and send it to the father “.
The grandmother said as the months went on, more boys who are thought to be related to those who stole the bike got involved and started harassing her grandson.
She told Observer that because of it, her grandson, fearful that the boys would confront him, had recently started leaving his house late to go to school each morning.
“When I home I have to argue with him, ‘Je-dourea you’re not going to school, wa you ah do ya?’
“For the term that school just open September, he late 12 times because he just nah want left the house early. Every morning me argue with he,” she explained.
Meanwhile, CHSS Principal, Ashworth Azille has refuted claims that the school has not been helpful in rectifying the matter.
Azille told Observer that he is satisfied that as a school every effort has been made to deal with negative interactions whenever they present themselves, including those related to King.
“The young man over the period of the last several years been involved with a number of negative interactions with other students and as a school we have sought to get parents involved. In fact, we have had conferences with all of the affected parties in an effort to try to bring a resolution to the issue. In this case, the young man whom he got into an altercation with at no point before was he on record as having been involved in any altercation with Je-dourea King,” Azille explained.
The school, he said has launched an investigation into the matter and has filed a report with the Ministry of Education which he expects will have to take it further with the assistance of the police.
The family of the 16-year-old-boy has since consulted with lawyer Wendel Robinson about their legal options moving forward.
The boy’s father, Michael King, told Observer “he’s coming on slowly, he gets up, he walks very slowly because his chest is still paining him”.