Counselling starts for Gloster Lodge students after murder outside school

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Police officers at the crime scene where Amoa Howe was shot and killed outside the Gloster Lodge Moravian School in Belmont. – Photo by Ayanna Kinsale

ONE week after a man was shot and killed near the Gloster Lodge Moravian Primary School, classes have resumed and counselling for students and staff has begun.

Amoa Howe, 50, was gunned down on February 20. The school was dismissed early and was closed so police could continue investigations. Speaking to Newsday, a parent of a student who wished not to be identified said school resumed with a thanksgiving service. However, she said there was not a police presence at the school, which left many uneasy.

“The children are still taken aback at what happened. It’s hard. It’s really hard.”

At least one child was crying, she said. The child was afraid to enter the compound as he was “afraid the gunman would come back,” the parent said.

She added that it feels like deja vu for her niece, who witnessed her own father’s murder some years ago.

“So it’s like she is reliving the situation.”

The parent also said while her daughter was not at school when the killing occurred, the mood and atmosphere at the school also made her uneasy.

The Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA) has been calling on the ministry to reconsider the school being used as an SEA centre in March.

TTUTA’s president Martin Lum Kin told Newsday he fears reprisal after the murder.

“We are looking to have SEA at another location outside of this compound so there could be a level of calm and safety for students and staff who are supervising the exams.”

He said a meeting was held with parents and staff who were fearful and concerned.