Mother of teacher beater condemns attack
'You make children not their minds' By Iana Seales
Stabroek News
March 18, 2004

Related Links: Articles on education
Letters Menu Archival Menu

The mother of the student who recently beat a teacher at Lodge Community High School has condemned the attack and says she believes her child should be punished but not imprisoned.

The woman, who says she has lost track of her son's whereabouts, said society readily castigated her after the incident and labelled her irresponsible. According to her such judgment is unjust.

Condemning the attack on Brian Balgobin she said her son turned from his proper beginnings and displayed gross misconduct. Describing his act as senseless the mother could only say that her boy was caught up in a moment of fury. Fury that she said was masked over the years since he was normal in his home environment. She conceded that complaints did reach her of his rowdy behaviour. "You make children not their minds", she lamented.

Speaking to Stabroek News yesterday the mother asserted that her son is no "convict". Torn between her duty as a mother to be there for her boy and her conscience which says that he is answerable for the act, she is in distress.

Unable to hold back the tears as she recounted the day of the incident when her son went home to her, she said that sometimes children forget who elders are.

She related that on the day of the incident her son turned up at the house shaken and begged for her forgiveness without explaining anything. He then told her that he had struck a teacher following a physical confrontation. According to her the boy said that the teacher had gripped him by the throat when he attempted to use a pathway to the school. He relayed how confused he was before hitting the teacher and said that the act was not intentional.

The mother said her son pleaded with her for a bus fare to travel to the East Coast of Demerara where his father lives. He then promised to return that evening after sharing the story with his father.

That was the last time she saw him. The day that followed was nerve wracking the woman said for she later learned that the teacher had suffered a head wound and police were hunting her son.

She said her concern reached its peak when the boy failed to return or call home. The blatant disregard for her feelings as she puts it drove her to flee the home in fear that police might detain her to find him.

The woman said police ranks raided their previous home in Sophia and alarmed her elderly mother who was ignorant of the attack.

According to the woman she worries for her son.

"Like any mother I am concerned about my child. No one will worry for me. I want to know that he is alright, that he is fed and clothed. I did not fail in my duty as a mother to raise him right, he failed me", she lamented.

The woman said her prayers were always with the injured teacher and his family. Admitting that she was a little embarrassed to visit the teacher at the hospital and offer an apology the woman said she sought advice from teachers at the school.

According to her the teachers were of no help. Full of desperation and nowhere to turn the mother said she left the school and never returned.

The woman said that though teachers suffered more serious injuries following confrontations at other schools protest action was never taken and no one called for the student/s in question to be imprisoned.

However she pointed out that people across the country are condemning her son. This, she said, is one-sided and shows that someone has to be made the "example": her son.

The mother recalls that her son was reserved during his primary school education and was an indoor boy. After he started at the Lodge School things took a turn for the worse and complaints of misconduct reached her every school term.

The drastic change made the woman realise that bad influence was getting the better of him. She related that she scolded the boy on countless occasions and went into the school. The boy denied the allegations every time and even produced his books with the term's work.

According to her, teachers refuted this and claimed that he copied the notes from classmates.

The woman said that struggling to raise three children in a single parent household after losing her job was hard. Additionally dealing with the boy was a handful.

After threatening to leave him on his own she said the boy came around. He went to school and even found a part-time job in the area. Then the recent attack sent her back to the "drawing board", according to her.

Now upset and full of rage the woman said she will turn her son over to the police should he return home. But she is hoping that the court shows mercy and gives him a chance.

She said that she can live with him being expelled from school but it would be difficult to live with his imprisonment.

Teachers at the school have mounted a protest calling for better security and the disarming of weapon-wielding students. The police have since said they will do patrols at the school.