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Students suspended after bloody brawl
Two female students of the Union Claxton Bay Secondary School who were involved in a bloody bottle-pelting brawl in Claxton Bay on Monday have been suspended.
This was confirmed by an official from the Ministry of Education who said the incident is under investigation.
“The Ministry is taking these fights very seriously. We will not tolerate that level of indiscipline and violence by school children,” said the official.
The brawl took place on Monday, hours after Education Minister Anthony Garcia warned about a zero-tolerance to school violence and indiscipline.
Garcia was speaking at a press conference specifically called to address a fight last week at the Princes Town West Secondary School where he announced that the two schoolboys who were recorded allegedly beating another student were suspended.
Police confirmed that they are investigating a report related to the fight at St Margaret’s Junction on Monday in which a 15-year-old girl suffered a wound to the head. The injured student went to the St Margaret’s Police Station where she reported that her schoolmate, aged 13, attacked her.
Police said their initial information suggested the girls were fighting over a boy.
The incident was witnessed by other school children and members of the public. The video shows a schoolgirl armed with a beer bottle confronting another student.
As a man intervened, the 15-year-old girl walked away, turned around and threw the bottle at the student. In retaliation, the student also threw a bottle at the 15-year-old girl who was walking away. The two girls scrambled at each other but were kept apart by the peacemaker.
Another man intervened in an attempt to quell the bawl. However, the 15-year-old girl followed the student and her friend across the road where the fight continued.
Condemning the violent act, T&T Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA) president Lynsley Doodhai said although the girls were not on the school compound, they were in uniform and they brought the education system and the school into disrepute. Doodhai said the Student Support Services needed to be proactive, rather than reactive, because students are exhibiting uncontrollable rage and anger management issues. He said the Minister spoke about the students being sent to the learning enhancement centres for rehabilitation but there is no law mandating parents to send their children to those centres.
“TTUTA is saying that if the police get involved and the children go before the magistrate. The magistrate can then dispense justice in a reasonable manner. TTUTA is not saying that the children be incarcerated but the magistrate can make certain orders for instance for the social worker or probation officer to get involved and look at the plight of the children.”
The Ministry official said the two female students were suspended for seven days but the suspension could be extended and the students sent to the learning enhancement or rehabilitation centre where they are provided with professional help as well as academic work.
An assessment will then be done to determine whether the child should be reintegrated into the school system. Cpl Adrian Dabee is investigating the incident.
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