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Bail for 9 male pupils involved in school fight

By Nikita Braxton-Benjamin nikita.braxton@trinidadexpress.com

NINE pupils of ASJA Boys’ College, Charlieville appeared in court yesterday charged with fighting at school.
The fourth and fifth form pupils were accompanied by their parents when taken before Chaguanas Magistrate Brambhanan Dubay.
All pleaded not guilty to the offence.
In objecting to bail as requested by their attorney Taradath Singh, police prosecutor Sgt Ken Ali said that while the pupils did not have criminal records, they all had records for indiscipline at the school.
Ali said some of them were suspended up to eight times and they all had reports against them at the school, which included assault, fighting, disorderly conduct, smoking and possession of explosive devices.
One allegedly was found with a weapon and another had made threats to a person over the telephone, Ali said.
He said there were on-going issues at the school with the boys and the safety of other pupils had to be considered.
Ali called for the boys to either be sent to St Michael’s School for Boys which, he said, could support them morally, spiritually and in academics, or the Youth Training Centre.
One of the mothers broke down and cried.
It is alleged that the boys were fighting in the courtyard of the school on Tuesday and the police were contacted.
The nine, who range in ages from 14 to 17 years, were charged with disturbing the peace by fighting at the school.
In his application for bail with conditions for the boys, Singh said they were first-time defendants before the court and they had been suspended by the school as a result of the charges.
He said several of the parents had already decided to take their children out of the school.
The vice-principal, who appeared in court, told the magistrate the school preferred the boys not be sent to any State institution as “it may be too harsh”.
Dubay said while such alleged behaviour could be expected at another school, “ASJA had a track record. It is hard to see ASJA sullied like this.”
The magistrate placed the boys on $3,000 bail each, with the condition that they report to Chaguanas Police Station on Saturdays.
The boys will return to court on April 16.
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