The male student who was caught on camera fighting a police officer at Kellits High School in Clarendon yesterday (November 21) has landed in trouble with the law and with administrators at the school he attends.
The Corporate Communications Unit of the police force said the child has been charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and is to appear in the May Pen Children’s Court on December 7. He is on bail.
Principal at Kellits High Texal Christie, in the meantime, told The Beacon that the institution has suspended the student, adding that the Board will meet to decide if further action is to be taken.
He said the school, as well as the police, are further conducting separate investigations. Christie disclosed that, up to publication time, the school had not collected a statement from the police officer involved in the altercation.
Details of what triggered the physical confrontation and how it ended are still sketchy. Only a portion of it has been captured in an amateur video being circulated.
However, sources at the school told The Beacon that the officer, who is stationed at Croft’s Hill Police Station, visited the educational institution yesterday morning to participate in a parenting seminar.
He saw some students arriving at school late and tried to have a discussion with them.
A male student, who reportedly was eating a patty and displaying nonchalance, attempted to walk away from the police officer who apparently was not pleased with the move.
Reports are that the cop eventually tried to take the student towards the principal’s office.
When they reached relatively close to the said office, the student allegedly started to make a frantic bid to escape.
During that effort, he reportedly forced the police officer to the ground and briefly sat on him.
The school’s security guard, who was later assisted by a teacher, pulled the student away.
Sources at the school claimed that, after the tussle that is captured on video, the police officer pulled his gun to eventually bring the situation under control, but further investigations will be conducted to test the veracity of that claim. What is clear is that no shot was fired. The cop was injured.
The principal at Kellits High, Christie, today told The Beacon: “The student is not in school right now; he is on suspension pending the investigation [by the school board].”
Asked why the student was suspended before the probe is completed, the principal explained: “What usually happens is that, for such an act that puts the school into disrepute, we couldn’t really keep him in here. It (the suspension) will give the board time to meet to come up with a decision.”
The Beacon asked if the child is likely to be expelled. Christie chuckled, then said: “I wouldn’t say automatically; I couldn’t really say which direction the board will go in.
“We are trying to get all the information together. It’s really a bizarre situation; it’s unusual; it’s out of the norm [for the school]. We really have to look at what really triggered this young man… We are trying to get into his mind to find out what is happening,” the principal further declared.
The child’s mother died recently, and he reportedly is harbouring a certain suspicion regarding his stepfather who is a police officer.
The Beacon tried to contact the youngster’s relatives, but those efforts, up to publication time, were futile.
The Kellits High principal, in the meantime, stated that the boy’s relatives “are having some discomfort” amid the violent episode.
By Horace Mills, Journalist
We want to hear from Jamaicans at home or abroad who have displayed resilience on the job or otherwise despite being impacted directly by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID). WhatsApp (876-305-4574) or email email@example.com.