Police have been called in to investigate an alleged attack against an employee of the state-run Government Industrial School (GIS) in St Lucy by a female inmate.
Police confirmed to Barbados TODAY this evening that they received the report from an employee of the alleged assault on a female staff member at around 9:50 this morning.
“In respect of that matter down at the Government Industrial School, that is a case of an alleged assault between a ward, who is 13 years old, and an employee. The police got the report at about 10 to 10 this morning that an employee had been injured after being involved in a dispute with a ward,” police Public Relations Officer Acting Inspector Rodney Inniss told Barbados TODAY after he was contacted.
Police investigations reveal that the teenage ward was walking in the company of another worker when she crossed paths with the employee.
Police said it is not certain if words were exchanged, but they are investigating claims that the employee received a “cuff” at the back of her head.
“The police are now investigating that matter. We don’t have anybody in custody and are in the process of getting statements. But the injury is not that serious,” he added.
However, independent investigations by Barbados TODAY revealed that the employee was temporarily stunned by a blow and sought medical attention at a private doctor soon after speaking with the police.
We have also been reliably informed that the alleged victim has told the police she will be pressing charges.
This incident, according to some disgruntled staff members is the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. Speaking about the working environment at the state-run correctional institution for juveniles, some employees say that for several months, they have been the target of abuse, threats and intimidation and “no one seems to be listening or doing anything about our complaints”.
In April this year, board members called for swift and sweeping changes to the way operations at the Barrows, St Lucy facility are conducted, including Chairman Rev Joseph Johnny Tudor who even suggested the removal of Principal Erwin Leacock following a meeting at the Ministry of Home Affairs.
But since then, sources said Minister of Home Affairs Edmund Hinkson has directed that only he should be making statements on behalf of the institution.
Some officials close to the board have described the situation at the GIS to be at “crisis” level.
Principal Leacock has previously refused to comment on the affairs at the school.
Other staff members who were willing to provide information, however, declined to be identified for fear of victimization.
Minister Hinkson was unavailable up to the time of compiling this story.