Almost three years after her six-year-old daughter was allegedly sexually assaulted by another student at the People’s Cathedral School, a frustrated mother is still waiting for answers.
In an exclusive interview with Barbados TODAY, the mother, whose name is being withheld to protect the identity of the minor, said despite having reported the incident to police and spoken to the school’s principal, the issue still has not been resolved.
In recounting the ordeal that began on December 6, she said she realized something was amiss after picking up her daughter from dancing at the christian primary school located at Bishop’s Court Hill, Collymore Rock, St Michael.
The mother said her daughter was usually talkative during the drive home, but was extremely quiet on this occasion.
She said when she asked her if something was wrong, her daughter told her a girl had put her finger in her vagina.
The shocked mother said she collected her husband from work and drove directly to the Coverley Medical Centre where she recalled that a Dr Hill examined her daughter and a piece of string was pulled from her vagina.
It was at that point the doctor informed her police would have to be called in.
She said after police arrived, they were escorted to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) where Dr Ross Herbert also conducted an examination on the minor. Bruising was detected but the doctor noted that the little girl’s hymen was still intact.
The distraught mother said she went to the school the next day where she spoke to principal Heather Bryan about the incident.
She said after not receiving a favourable response from Bryan, she went to the District ‘B’ Police Station in Boarded Hall, St George, where she gave several statements. The mother said it was only while at the police station she discovered “the full extent” of what had actually transpired with her daughter.
She said it was brought to her attention that the girl had assaulted her daughter while in the school’s bathroom. She said when her daughter tried to scream, the older girl threatened to report her to the principal for doing something wrong.
Two days after the incident occurred, the irate mother said she returned to the school with police to have her daughter point out the offender.
To her surprise, she said the principal did not allow her daughter to identify her attacker, saying parents of all the Class 1 girls would have to be present.
“Up to this day my daughter still has not picked out the girl who sexually assaulted her,” the mother lamented.
The mother said her daughter, who was now nine, was seeing a psychiatrist as a result of the assault.
She revealed that she had also made a report to the Child Care Board and had subsequently pulled both her daughters from the school.
“It has really affected her. I now have to pay for her to see a psychiatrist because if you are a stranger you can’t just walk up to her because she gets extremely afraid. It has gotten to the point where her younger sister who is six-years-old is braver than she is,” the upset mother said.
“I am holding the school accountable because this happened under their watch. Since the incident the school hasn’t even called me to see how she is doing or anything. People’s Cathedral has pastors and counsellors and they have not even volunteered to offer any assistance.”
When Barbados TODAY contacted the school’s principal, she confirmed that police were investigating the incident and offered no other comment.
The mother said she was informed that Superintendent Bruce Rowe was now in charge of the investigation.
Rowe, who is in charge of the Southern Division, told Barbados TODAY the incident had only been brought to his attention two weeks ago.
However, he said an investigation into the matter had been launched. [email protected]