Friday, February 23, 2018

...Zero tolerance, says Mystar

INSPECTOR Wayne Mystar yesterday commended one of his colleagues for intervening in the battle between a Mucurapo West Secondary schoolgirl and several of her fellow pupils outside the school’s compound last Friday.

He said the fracas, which led to ten of the schoolgirls being suspended, was being investigated by the police, adding that although it is a “hard” approach to the issue, a soft approach—counselling by the Police Service’s Victims and Witness Support Unit—was also being used.

But the mother of the girl who was being beaten that afternoon said she found it unfair that her daughter was among those suspended, claiming that she was the real victim in the incident and was only trying to defend herself.

“She has been bullied since Form One and weeks before the incident she was getting threats from the same girl and it was reported to the dean,” said the mother.

However, she said, the dean “put them in a room and told them to talk it out, but one of the girls didn’t like that and she chained up another girl and so it was 21 of them who came to my daughter on Friday morning and said they will take her down, but she didn’t take her on her own because a report was already made”.

She added that while her daughter was going home “with five of her friends, she was attacked and she tried to walk away, but the other girls grabbed her collar and pulled her back and she started to defend herself and that’s when she held on to a girl and they both fell into a drain”.

The mother said some of the older girls intervened “to help she or else she woulda dead because she real small and everyone think she’s nine, but she’s really 14”.

She lamented that the girls who attacked her daughter had also attacked others and have been suspended. But when that suspension period was over they returned to school but never brought in their parents, even though they were asked to.

“It is not fair and we reported it over and over and is a few of the girls doing this thing. These girls beating up people children every day and they always fighting and it’s the same girls over and over. And when she give them suspension they turn up to school as normal and I don’t even think their parents know what is happening because the bullies’ parents don’t ever come to the meetings...only the victims’ parents.”

Speaking about the issue yesterday while addressing the media during the weekly press briefing at Police Headquarters, Port of Spain, Mystar said Mucurapo West and a few other schools in Port of Spain were being patrolled and anyone else caught breaking the law would be dealt with.

“We have a zero tolerance policy on school violence,” he said, adding that the perpetrators could be charged.