Teacher says he was beaten by 17-year-old student

Stabroek News
December 14, 2002

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A seventeen-year-old boy is said to have attacked a teacher of the North Georgetown Secondary School on Thursday evening on Vlissengen Road following the conclusion of the school’s Christmas party.

The boy, an ex-student of the school, carried out the assault on Kerry Baynes, a business teacher at the school for over three years.

When this newspaper visited the school, Baynes’ left arm was swollen and bandaged.

According to him, it was late in the evening when he decided to leave for home.

He was on the western side of Vlissengen Road waiting for a break in the flow of traffic when he felt a lash on his back and heard someone shouting, “I gon kill you”. When he turned around he saw a piece of wood being aimed towards his face.

He then raised his bag in an attempt to block the blow but it rebounded on his left arm. Upon bringing the bag down he recognised his attacker and pulled back.

He told Stabroek News that the youth was restrained by some concerned students but continued to issue threats while struggling to attack him again.

Baynes described his attacker as a very aggressive individual who is grossly indisciplined, noting that he has had previous encounters with the boy. He said that his attacker had also threatened other teachers at the school but he was the first to suffer an assault.

He described the incident as sad, adding that teachers are no longer being treated with respect. He contended that no action is being taken by the Ministry of Education to correct this growing problem.

In the past, he recalled, indisciplined students were sent back to the school by the ministry. Baynes related too that despite objections from several teachers at the school the boy was frequently in the school compound.

Headteacher Merissa Callender told this newspaper that the boy visits the compound because he is at present taking industrial arts lessons there from a teacher.

She said she had informed the Ministry of Education about previous problems with the particular student and could only do what was stipulated.

Callender noted that the incident happened outside of the school compound so there is not much she could do. According to her the police have to deal with the matter since it is now in their hands.

When this newspaper contacted the Ministry of Education, a senior education officer said that the ministry had promptly responded to a call from the school.

However, according to the officer, nothing can be done until ministry officials arrive at a decision.

Meanwhile, Stabroek News understands the youth is in custody at the Alberttown police station. When contacted, the Police Public Relations Department told this newspaper it had not been informed of the incident. The Alberttown police station was also contacted and in addition to being reluctant to disclose any details, the individual who took the call told this newspaper it was quite welcome to write anything it pleased.

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