BULLYING is not tolerated at Presentation College, San Fernando, and the school staff tackles the social problem head-on through its teachings.
This was stated yesterday by an official of the school who did not want to be named.
The official said Monday’s incident, where one pupil stabbed another before allegedly attempting suicide, was “isolated” and not a regular occurrence in the school.
The Express was told both pupils are regarded as “A” pupils, and both received commendations last week for their excellent performance in the end-of-term examinations last year.
According to police, the incident arose because the aggressor sought revenge after he found a cockroach in his schoolbag.
Police were told on Monday 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.
From his bed at the San Fernando General Hospital yesterday, the stabbing victim said he did not bully his schoolmate, but had played a prank on him.
The boy said: “It was a joke, the boy reacted in the wrong way. I was expecting a revenge prank. I don’t even know what I got stabbed with. It was not anything too serious. I did not think he would not have taken it so far.”
The teenager, who was stabbed in chest and back, said he was concerned for his classmate, who allegedly attempted suicide.
“I am really concerned about why he did it. I don’t think it was the right reaction to what he did. I am kind of concerned about him, about what he did and his mental health,” the stabbing victim said.
The Express was told the mother of the suicidal teenager thanked the principal and staff for their quick response in finding her son behind discarded sheets of galvanised roofing, and pieces of steel near a basketball court on the school’s compound.
“Their teachers were shocked over this incident. Neither of them was ever scolded in the school, or taken to the principal’s office for bad behaviour. One of them is even participating in a musical concert the school is having next week,” said the school official.
Teachers were told the incident at the school was not a case of bullying. “The boys found a cockroach in the classroom and they were flinging and kicking it around. It happened to land on one of the boy’s bookbags. It was not planted there as an act of bullying,” the official told the Express.
Police said statements were taken from the stabbing victim and one of his parents, from classmates and school principal Dexter Mitchell.
A counsellor from Student Support Services of the Ministry of Education visited the college yesterday and spoke with pupils who sought individual counselling.
The counsellor is expected to visit the school for the rest of the week.
Both schoolboys were expected to be discharged from hospital yesterday.