The news that three students of The Lester Vaughan School will appear in court on Thursday to face charges for viciously attacking her daughter has evoked no response from Marcia Carrington.
Not satisfaction, not anger, not revenge.
The distraught mother has only one thing on her mind –– the long, painful road to recovery that her 14-year-old faces.
“I am trying to cope the best way I can, I haven’t thought about who has been charged,” she told Barbados TODAY Tuesday morning.
Three students will appear before the District ‘D’ Magistrate court in 48 hours, police have reported.
Two girls – one 16, the other 15 – and a boy, 14, have been charged with occasioning actual bodily harm.
Wednesday will mark exactly one week since the gruesome video of students punching and kicking their colleague stirred up national outrage.
The attack was allegedly over an argument about a $15 bottle of hair spritz.
But the pain has only just begun for both Carrington and her daughter, with the mother disclosing that it has been a nightmare for her family since the attack.
“She [the daughter] is complaining for pain to her back, neck and to the head,” Carrington told Barbados TODAY.
The full extent of the child’s injuries remains unknown even after a battery of the tests on Saturday and four x-rays Monday.
Carrington and her daughter were expected to return to the doctor for more tests and treatment Tuesday, but the child was in too much pain to make the visit.
“She wasn’t able to walk today . . . and when she breathes in, she is experiencing pain in the chest.”
Carrington too is grappling with her own pain –– physical and emotional.
Since the incident she has not been able to eat or sleep and the only thing that keeps her going is her determination to see her child back on her feet.
“It will be a long period . . . yes, it is devastating, yes it is hurtful, but at the end of the day I have got to put my daughter first because she needs me,” the mother explained.
Carrington, who admitted that she had not watched the video or read or listened to news stories about the ordeal, said she had not yet felt outrage because her focus was on rebuilding her daughter’s life.
At the same time, she appealed for an end to bullying.
“Bullying is just wrong,” she sighed.
But while Carrington has refrained from lashing out at her daughter’s attackers, Barbadians have turned to social media to demand justice.
On the Barbados TODAY online platform, the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) has come in for high praise for arresting and charging the alleged offenders, even as the public called for the students involved in the incident to be brought to justice.
“Thanks to the RBPF for a job well done and if there are any more to charge, teach them a lesson,” one poster said.
“All of the students should be charged,” argued another, while a significant number of commenters bemoaned bullying and other forms of deviant behavior in schools.
A chorus of condemnation has also come from officials who have called on authorities to take swift action to crack down on lawlessness in schools.
President of the Barbados National Council of Parent Teacher Association Shone Gibbs said: “What we are seeing is not normal, what we are seeing is untenable and it must be arrested in the interest of our country.”
Gibbs’ sentiments received some support from social worker and former head of Barbados Family Planning Association George Griffith who blamed the growing violent behavior exhibited by young people on a society which supports and practises corporal punishment.
“We teach children that you can hit and inflict pain and suffering when somebody tells you something wrong, but yet we say domestic violence is wrong and children should not be fighting on the streets or at school,” he lamented.
The child is not expected to return to school until next month, and Carrington said she was saddened that the fourth former, who has been preparing for promotion exams, had been handed this setback.
“She is not in a position to do exams now; I will have to meet with the headmaster to determine what’s next,” she said.
In the meantime, the family is receiving support from the active Lester Vaughan School Parent Teachers Association.
“We will do all we can to assist the mother and the daughter during this unfortunate ordeal,” President Donna Sealy told Barbados TODAY.
Carrington said she was grateful for the help, and expressed her gratitude to Barbadians.
“To all who are helping and trying to help, I thank them and I appreciate them for it,” she said.