LINSTEAD: Student beaten says she saw death, wants to leave Jamaica

VIDEO: This is an amateur video of the fight. The audio has been edited to get rid of expletives.
PHOTO: This shows the student undergoing eye tests yesterday after being beaten last week

The traumatized fifth form student of Charlemont High School in St Catherine who was beaten near the school last week Thursday afternoon, November 7, said she wants to flee the violence in her homeland to join her mother and elder sister in the United States.

She stated that, after being ganged and beaten, she passed out and was admitted to Linstead Public Hospital for three days.

The student explained that she wasn’t even aware that she was being transported from the school to the medical facility; she actually woke up to find herself in hospital.

She told The Beacon that she does not feel safe anymore, adding that she does not think Charlemont High School and the Jamaica Constabulary Force are doing enough to punish the people who almost killed her.

“There were a lot of people on me and I still found the strength to get up [from the ground]. If I did not get up, maybe I would have been beaten to death,” she posited.

The student did not suffer any internal injury, based on the result of a CT brain scan, chest X-Ray, and cervical spine X-Ray all costing a total of J$25,500.

She, however, has been experiencing intermittent headaches and blurriness of the eyes.

The student’s eyes were examined yesterday at Kingston Public Hospital (KPH). “They gave her eye-drops at KPH, and the doctor said it (the blurriness) is from the hits my daughter received, [but] it will go away,” added the student’s mother, Alena Campbell.

The student, in the meantime, said the incident began on the school compound, but turned physical on the road that leads to the educational institution.

She denied knowledge of how the fracas started.

“I was not a part of it; I was in the [Senior] Vice Principal’s office at the time it started,” the student said, adding that the Senior Vice Principal later had a discussion with her as well as her friends.

The student said she apparently became a target because she was walking with one of her female friends who was involved in the quarrel earlier at the school.

She explained that, while walking, she, along with her two female friends, heard a commotion, looked behind them, and saw the other students approaching with pieces of stick and metal.

The student said the gang of girls launched a physical attack.

She claimed that, at one point, a piece of iron fell from one of her attackers and she took it up to defend herself.

“I took it up, thinking that they would ease off me, but they didn’t” she said. “While on the ground, there were about four girls on me and a lot of boys [some who don’t attend the school] beating me with stick, iron and all of those stuff. I eventually got up and then a taxi-man pushed me in the face. I remove his hand from my face and he said, ‘gunshot a goh reach yuh’. Instead of parting, he was taking side with the other girls,” the student said.

She further told The Beacon that, when the fight ended, she felt weak, and so she started to walk back towards the school.

“When I finally got back to the school, I went into the nurse area and sat on one of the beds… The guidance counsellor was asking me for phone numbers for people to get in contact with, and then the [Senior] Vice Principal seemingly was talking to me. I do not remember anything else until I woke up in the hospital. As far as I heard, people said I was unconscious,” the student said.

She noted that she was admitted to Linstead Public Hospital on Thursday, but she left the hospital the following day to undergo certain tests at another facility.

The student explained that, subsequent to the medical tests, she returned to Linstead Public Hospital and stayed there overnight until she formally was released on Saturday, November 9 – three days after she cheated death in the street.

The student’s mother, Campbell, in the meantime, said she does not think she will send her child back to Charlemont High School, adding that the principal is yet to personally reach out to the family.

The incident is being probed by the police and the school.

ALSO READ: Charlemont probes fights; student hospitalized for days


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