San Fernando East student’s finger severed in attack

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

San Fernando East Secondary School.

SOUTHERN Division police are investigating an attack in which part of a San Fernando East student’s finger was cut off just outside the school.

The mother of the 15-year-old form three student is pleading with them to act swiftly.

His mother told Newsday a student from a nearby private school had been threatening to harm her son for several months.

She said this was reported on several occasions to the school’s principal , who then informed police. The cousin of the student who made the threats also attends San Fernando East. She added that neither she nor her son knows why he is being targeted.

But two weeks ago, the student who had been making the threats, along with some of his friends, waited for him just outside the school gates. When he walked out after school was dismissed, the group began to attack him with knives, eventually severing the pinky finger on his right hand. Two other fingers were also grazed.

He then ran to his grandmother’s house, where he stays, in Pleasantville, but she was not at home, so he went for help to a neighbour, who took him to the hospital.

His mother said he told her he feels like he “is dying inside and doesn’t know how to feel or cope.”

She said her son has never been involved in any fights, is the vice-president of the school – similar to vice-prefect – and is a model student.

She said police visited the family and took a statement but told them there was no need to visit the Mon Repos Police Station as they’d file the report themselves.

However, after checking back in a few days later, she was told no such report had been filed, and had to do it all over again.

She said the police have not been communicating with her and she is very displeased.

“The boy who come to kill my child is willing to sacrifice everything he has. My child’s life is at risk.

“We don’t know the family members of this boy, the friends of this boy, we don’t know who he knows…We do not want to be looking over our shoulders and we are trying to do it the right way.”

She said her son is set for another hospital visit on Wednesday for a check-up, but his hand is healing well so far.

If the police communication does not improve, she said, she will take the matter to the Police Complaints Authority (PCA). She is also seeking legal advice.

“I don’t want to have to go this route, but I am not being taken seriously,” she said.

She added that she is yet to get a receipt for the report she made and keeps getting the runaround from the police when she asks about it.

In addition, she said, the students who attacked her son have allegedly been making fun of him and the incident on social media.

The mother said the school appointed a social worker to speak to her son, but added that he has suffered a lot of trauma.

She said despite the school being aware of these things, the social worker was not informed about anything other than the attack.

Newsday tried to contact the school’s principal Patricia Pitt as well as Education Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly but all calls and messages went unanswered.

Head of the police’s Southern Division Snr Supt Hospedales confirmed to Newsday that investigations are ongoing.