MOTHER: I now forgive Linstead school

A mother who recently accused Linstead Primary School of exposing her 10-year-old daughter to danger, is declaring that her grouses with the institution were addressed amicably during a top-level meeting at the St Catherine-based school on Monday, May 6.

“I have seen where Linstead school has been trying to make things right and accept full responsibility for what happened, and I forgive them and we are moving on,” Shanakay Hanson told The Beacon.

She said the meeting on Monday involved various stakeholders, including Chairman of the school board Telbert Roberts, Principal Gloria Johnson, an education officer, the Office of the Children’s Advocate, and Richard Troupe from the education ministry’s Safety and Security in Schools Unit.

“We left the meeting feeling a lot better than we went; we went there with tension and hurt,” the mother said.

“We were allowed to speak our minds in the meeting. They did not say we were wrong; they accepted full responsibility.”

The mother further stated that she will no longer remove her daughter from the school, adding that the child is happy in the current environment. She said the school has gone as far as to offer her daughter counselling.

The mother declared that she also does not regret bringing the matter to public attention, adding that her deeds perhaps will save another child from ordeals similar to the one her daughter experienced.

Meanwhile, the mother, in a social media post in April, blasted Linstead Primary School, which she said exposed her daughter to danger on April 10 after returning from a school trip to Jamaica Zoo in St Elizabeth.

She stated that, as a result of one bus developing mechanical problems on the trip, the students returned to Linstead town about 10PM, which is some five hours later than scheduled.

The mother accused the teachers of dropping her daughter off the bus some time after 10PM without adult supervision. She said the child boarded a taxi that left her in a deserted area of Linstead, adding that it was a total stranger – a man – who later saw her daughter walking alone and opted to accompany her home.

Following that complaint, education officer Christopher Reynolds told The Beacon that, based on his preliminary investigations, the management of Linstead Primary School was refuting some of the mother’s claims.

That declaration further infuriated the mother, who called for Reynolds to be removed from the case, adding that she had lost confidence in his ability to be impartial.

The mother is now stating that, following her talks with the school, she is convinced that Reynolds, who was not at the meeting on Monday, did not accurately present the school’s true position to the press.

Reynolds, in his interview with The Beacon, had declared that he did not reach a conclusion regarding the issues raised because his investigation – at the time – was incomplete.

By Horace Mills, Journalist


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