Terrified for the safety of her son, who was brutally attacked by a school bully, Jane Samaroo is now begging Education Minister Anthony Garcia to secure a transfer for him.
Speaking outside the San Fernando General Hospital after doctors removed a cast from his fractured wrist Wednesday, Samaroo said her entire family is now suffering because she had lost her job after her son's attack.
Samaroo, who worked as a URP labourer at the Barrackpore East Secondary School, where he son also attends, said she wanted justice as well as a safe environment for her child. Wiping away tears, Samaroo said the dispute which led to the beating started on November 25 when the bully allegedly cut the strap from her son's book bag. The student went to principal Faye Ann Ryan and reported the matter. Shortly afterwards, the bully began accusing the student of spreading rumours. On November 27, Samaroo said her son was in a classroom when the perpetrator slammed her son against a chair. He allegedly began beating him repeatedly on the head and back. A friend later jumped in and rescued the Form Three pupil.
Samaroo said he went to the principal's office to make a report. She said she saw her son sitting in the principal's office that day but nobody informed her that he was beaten.
"He was so traumatised he could not speak to me. They sent him back to the classroom even though his hand was fractured,” she said.
“When I got home that day I realised he was hurt. We took him to the Princes Town District Hospital and they transferred him to San Fernando Hospital where he was x-rayed."
Samaroo noted that his hand was put in a cast and a day later they made a report at the Barrackpore Police Station and to the Ministry of Education.
Samaroo said after she initiated an investigation, her supervisor called her to say she would be transferred out of the school. She was reassigned to work at the Monkey Town Primary school but she could not afford to pay $16 per day to get to work. Samaroo said she was now praying that Garcia could transfer her son to the Barrackpore West Secondary School.
Contacted on Wednesday the principal said she was not authorised to speak to the media but noted that she did everything that she was supposed to do. She then hung up the phone.
Also contacted on the issue, Minister Garcia said he was very disappointed that bullying was continuing in some schools despite the ministry’s anti-bullying initiatives. He said he had no information that the alleged attacker was suspended. He pointed out that a report was not lodged at the ministry but said the school supervisor will initiate an investigation and give him an update.