GEORGETOWN – A mother is calling on the relevant authorities to investigate an issue of bullying which left her 8-year-old son hospitalised.
Twenty-six-year-old mother of four, Devika Persaud is calling for justice for her 8-year-old son, Richard Boodram, who is currently receiving treatment at the Georgetown Public Hospital for injuries he suffered during an attack at his school, Mon Repos Primary.
According to Persaud, she found out that her son was the victim of a vicious attack last Friday by five of his classmates four days ago after he had told doctors what happened to him. The mother told Stabroek News that she noticed that her son was acting strangely when he came home from school on Friday and refused to eat as he wanted to just lay in the chair.
“He take the food and he put it back on the table and he cover it, he didn’t eat and he go and he lay down on the chair” Persaud said, while adding that she asked her son what was wrong. The woman related that it was unusual for her son to behave in such a manner as he is usually very upbeat and playful when at home.
The mother said that on Saturday when she went to her mother’s house with her children, she noticed that her son’s head was beginning to swell and he had developed a fever. She added that subsequent to that she took her son to the hospital on Monday after his condition worsened. Persaud said up to that time she was not aware that her child had been beaten by his classmates, so when she was asked by the doctors if he was beaten or fell she responded in the negative.
She told Stabroek News that it was only on Wednesday when another set of doctors came to the see her son and asked him what had happened that he told them in her presence that he was beaten by five boys.
“He said to them that five boys beat he in the school yard and all five of the boys is in he class,” Persaud said. When asked, Persaud disclosed that her son is in the fourth grade and is the smallest boy in his class at the school. Persaud then said that her son named all of the boys that were involved in the fight.
“He find a ball in the school yard and they fighting he for the ball and two of them hold he down and one of them tek a wood and lash he in he head and another one come from behind and take a bottle and lash he pon he neck back” the mother related stating that, that is what she found out.
The woman stated the she and her sister went to the school to inquire about the incident, to which they were told by the headmistress of the school that she was only made aware of the situation when they brought it to her attention. After providing the relevant information to the headmistress, they were told that the students, whose names were called, were told to come with their parents to the school on Thursday morning. They were then told by the headmistress that she would investigate the complaints.
According to the child’s aunt, there is an issue of bullying and lack of supervision at the school. As she noted that it is not the first time that those children were accused of bullying her nephew. She said that she found out from her children who also attend the Mon Repos Primary school that one of the boys involved in the incident would usually go under the desk and tie her nephew’s shoe laces together causing him to trip and fall every time he gets up.
“It does always happen. He’s a very quiet child, he don’t trouble nobody and he don’t like to talk and so on,” Boodram’s aunt said.
She added that they would have heard some of the students talking about the incident stating that the 8-year-old was beaten twice that day, once during the lunch break and a second time after school was dismissed.
“He get beat at the 12 o’clock and he get beat at the 2 o’clock. Well the 12 o’clock he ain’t say nothing cause he tell he friend and tell he don’t tell the teacher” Boodram’s aunt said.
An emotional Persaud chimed in adding, “I ask he today [Thursday] why he didn’t go and tell de teacher, he say that how deh tell he if he talk them gon beat he mo.”
She went on to say that since her son has been in the hospital, she, as a single parent would have had to find monies to pay for various scans to be done so as to find out if he would have suffered injuries to the brain as a result of the blow he took to his head.
As tears fell from her eyes, Persaud told Stabroek News that it hurts her to see her son in so much pain as she explained that as he is currently in the hospital, his eyes are swollen shut as he was bleeding from his eyes. The woman added that her son constantly cries out for pain and has been unable to eat for days.
Persaud and her sister are calling on the relevant authorities to look into the situation as they believe bullying in the school has been overlooked for quite some time and something has to be done. The women are convinced that if the children were properly supervised the situation would not have occurred and the 8-year-old would have been home instead of in the hospital crying out for pain.