NASSAU – A teenage boy is in critical condition in hospital after he was stabbed multiple times during a brawl at Government High School yesterday morning which left two other students injured.
The fight took place shortly after 11 a.m. on the school’s Yellow Elder Gardens campus.
The three teens were injured during the argument between dozens of children during the schools first recess. Two of the boys are listed in stable condition while police said the other victim was critically injured. The school was immediately put on lock down while police processed the crime scene and spoke to witnesses.
Angry parents shouted outside the school’s main gate yesterday as they waited for the students to be released, with many in fear that one of their relatives had been injured.
In a 30-second video, taken during the fight and posted on social media, several students appear to be hitting and punching each other. One young man is seen on video with what appears to be a knife in his hand, running towards the fight.
Assistant Commissioner of Police Stephen Dean said two young men, students of GHS, are in police custody assisting police with their investigation. ACP Dean said it is “unfortunate” that the incident occurred on the school’s campus. He said there was a school policing officer at the school at the time of the brawl but because of the size of the compound and the “large student population” it is a difficult school to police.
“Shorty after 11, the school was on break when there was an altercation between a group of students that led to one student being stabbed and two others being injured,” ACP Dean told reporters at the school.
“Three were taken to hospital, one is in critical condition the other two are stable.
“We are in the early stage of our investigation. We have interviewed students and teachers to determine who might be involved, we have an idea who the persons are that were involved in the fight. We are in the early stage of the investigation,” ACP Dean said.
“It is unfortunate that this happened on the school’s campus. We do have officers that work the school premises and we will continue to review our strategies to determine how best we can minimise such incidents. We can tell you that these things do not originate in the schools; these things are a wider implication of what is happening in our communities. It comes into the school but we are in the early stages of our investigation and we hope to bring it to a resolution.”
After being unable to contact their children for several hours, concerned parents gathered at the school’s main entrance demanding answers. One of those parents, Shandell Williams, said her son called her shortly after 11am in a panic to tell her “someone was trying to stab him”.
“My son called me from the office phone,” Williams said. “He said ‘mommy the boys are trying to ‘juck’ me, the boys are trying to ‘juck’ me’. The same time someone took the phone from him. I called back, no one answered the phone.
“I’m at the school and no one is saying anything, I haven’t been able to see him, hear from him, nothing. No one coming to the gate, no one saying anything, they just telling you to be quiet and wait. How you could let someone come that close to my child to say they going to ‘juck’ him? That feeling is indescribable. I need some information. I deserve that. He is only 15.”
Another parent, who wished to remain anonymous, said there have been several fights at GHS since school opened and “no one seems to care enough” to do anything about it.
“This isn’t anything new,” the parent said. “Everyday these kids been fighting since school open and no one is doing anything about it. The police station right there and they fighting everyday. My daughter is in grade 11 and she told me last week one guy got hit in his head, another boy get hit with a bottle, a boy was stabbed two days ago. Government High School students been fighting everyday. I am frightened to send my daughter to school,” she said.
ACP Dean said police received no reports of any incidents at GHS for the school year. However, he said, there “may have been incidents in the nearby neighbourhoods.”
Mount Moriah MP Arnold Forbes was on the scene shortly after the incident. He said the government should look at the proliferation of gangs and the impact they are having on schools.
“It spills over into the school and I am told that there is a gang situation happening in the schools,” Forbes, a member of the governing Progressive Liberal Party, said. “Rival gangs meeting on the campus and fighting. I believe that we have to ensure that we can live as one. This situation with the gangs has been going on for too long and it has to be nipped in the bud. We need to explain to our children the dangers of being affiliated with any gang.”