Tuesday, February 20, 2018

...Pupils want to move on

THE parents of the two pupils of Presentation College, San Fernando, involved in a stabbing and attempted suicide at the school on Monday, are not interested in pursuing a criminal case.

They just want to work with their sons in getting over the incident, school chaplain, Monsignor Christian Pereira, said yesterday.

Pereira was speaking to reporters after an impromptu visit to the school by Education Minister Dr Tim Gopeesingh.

On Monday, one pupil stabbed another before allegedly attempting suicide.

According to police, the incident arose because the aggressor sought revenge after he found a cockroach in his schoolbag.

Police were told the offender stabbed a 15-year-old boy whom he believed had placed the cockroach in his schoolbag.

School teachers and prefects later found the aggressor bleeding from wounds to his arm and neck, and a knife and scalpel nearby.

“While they (the pupils) are aware of a level of punishment that they both deserve for their behaviour, they realise that the shame and the guilt that they feel is enough suffering for them,” said Pereira.

“Neither of the families want to carry this further in terms of pressing charges. They want to look forward and they want to see how experience can teach them to be better families, to be better young men.”

He said with the right support from their parents, teachers and others, the pupils, who both did well in their studies, will become better men.

“What is very good to know is that the parents of the two boys are really talking with each other, very apologetic to each other and recommitting themselves to working with their sons and working for the betterment of the next generation of young people,” said Pereira.

“They are young parents, they are dedicated parents and we know, with the support of the parents, this thing will not happen again, but certainly we would learn from it.”

Yesterday, both boys were released from San Fernando General Hospital, but they will take some time to heal and will have to visit the hospital’s clinics, Pereira said.

“The physical healing is on stream. The one who was stabbed is not so badly physically damaged. The one who did some self-inflicted wounds, he has suffered a bit in terms of the damage he did to his body.”

The real injuries, he said, were to the pupils’ souls, minds, emotions and relationships.

And Pereira said social media contributed to bullying and pranks played on persons.

“Social media, powerful and good as it is, is contributing to the aggravation of the wrongs. People today play pranks like we all did at one time or the other, but sometimes the problem we face in society is that for some reason our skin has become very thin and we respond too quickly with anger and with resentment to things we should take in stride as men and women growing up.”

Pereira also said some of the pupils were embarrassed by the situation, but teachers were working with them in dealing with the problem.

Police said yesterday the parents of the victim and the alleged aggressor have both said they did not wish for charges to be laid in the matter.

However, a file will be compiled in the case and it will be submitted to senior police officers who will decide whether or not charges will be laid.

A senior police officer said the victim and alleged offender were undergoing counselling by officers of the Victim Support Unit. —Sue-Ann Wayow