Principal Michael Boyce of The Lester Vaughn School has broken his silence on the recent violent incident in which a mob of students unleashed a brutal attack on one of their peers.
While the attack had badly bruised the school’s image, Boyce today said he was hoping the country could learn from the entire episode.
“I’m hoping society as a whole learns from this. I would hope that we honestly learn. I can’t speak on a specific lesson, but I hope all of society can learn from this,” he told Barbados TODAY on the sidelines of the schools fourth annual entrepreneurship exposition organized by the Parents Teachers Association (PTA).
In a recording that went viral on social media and raised the ire of Barbadians, a 14-year-old girl was seen being chased by an angry mob – some of whom could be heard hurling expletives – before falling to the ground and being kicked repeatedly in the head by some of the students. The attack allegedly followed an argument over a $15 bottle of hair spritz.
Four teenagers have since been charged in relation to the incident, and the victim, through her attorney-at-law Verla Depeiza, has said she would seek compensation for her injuries.
The child’s mother had told Barbados TODAY last week that the extent of her daughter’s injuries were unknown even after a battery of the tests and four x-rays.
The teenager was in such pain, the mother had said, that she was forced to a doctor’s appointment for more tests and treatment last Tuesday because “she wasn’t able to walk . . . and when she breathes in, she is experiencing pain in the chest”.
Boyce today opted not to say too much about the incident, but said the atmosphere at the school was calm in the face of the ordeal.
“The school is settled. We are into exam mode; the thirds and fourths have started. The firsts and seconds will be on by this Thursday.
“Students were disappointed, many of them were upset about the whole thing, but we are dealing with it,” he said.
Boyce added that programmes such as the entrepreneurship event were welcomed as they allowed students to display their talents.
“At this school we are always trying to find outlets for students to display their talents in a very positive manner. We are doing lots of work with the PTA. I believe in a very strong home-school partnership, I think that’s the way to go if we want to get the very best for our students. That does not mean that the home and school will always agree, but once we are singing from the hymn sheet at the same time everything will go well,” he stressed. (DB)