Stabbed Palo Seco students discharged, investigations ongoing

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

FILE PHOTO: The Point Fortin Hospital.

All students injured in the Palo Seco Secondary School stabbing fracas on Thursday, have been treated and discharged from hospital.

Police said up until Friday evening, they were still recording statements from students, including those who were injured.

Police sources said investigators were still analysing the incident so there was very little new information to share.

On May 22, there was a fracas in which five Forms 4 and 5 students, including four males and a female, were stabbed with a knife.

The children who suffered wounds to their legs, hands, wrist and fingers, were all treated at the Point Fortin Hospital.

President of the TT Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA) Martin Lum Kin said the incident was unfortunate and added he remains very concerned about violence in schools.

He said officials at Palo Seco Secondary had advocated for increased security as two security officers were deemed insufficient. He told Newsday the incident may have had its genesis in a street brawl the previous weekend in Siparia.

Stephen Mc Clashie, MP for La Brea, where Palo Seco Secondary falls under, said he too is concerned by the violent act as this school was known to be relatively quiet and safe. Education Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly said an investigation is being conducted and she is awaiting a report.

Walter Stuart, president of the National Parent Teachers Association (NPTA), in a voice-note, said activities at schools are merely a microcosm of what is taking place in the wider and lawless TT society.

“People are breaking the law with impunity and activities taking place in the wider society are spilling over into our nation’s schools. This is a case of ‘monkey see, monkey do’.”

Smart called for psychologists and psychiatrists to be introduced at primary school level to catch and deal with challenges children at that age may experience to prevent them from growing up into law-breakers.

He also called for a robust parenting improvement skills initiative, saying something amiss is happening in many homes that requires urgent national attention.

Tabaquite MP Anita Haynes-Alleyne – the UNC’s shadow education minister – urged parents to pay close attention to their children and difficulties they may be experiencing both in and out of school.

“Every effort to prevent or mitigate youth violence is critical. The signs may not always be readily apparent, but let us commit, as a national community, to helping our young people navigate tough times as best as possible,” Haynes-Alleyne said.