Classes at the Clare Hall Secondary School have been cancelled for the remainder of the week, as the principal and teachers mull the traumatic incident of Tuesday, January 31, and try to come up with viable solutions to ensure it does not happen again.
Two masked young men, armed with a golf club and a cutlass, breached the school’s security and roamed the compound, allegedly in search of a student.
In light of this development, and at the request of the school, the Ministry of Education and Cabinet have given the staff time to discuss it among themselves; engage parents; and develop strategies and structures to create a safer school environment.
Therefore, students will remain at home today, Thursday, February 2, and Friday, February 3. Teachers, however, will report to work on those two days.
While the Ministry of Education says it is relieved that there were no physical injuries to students or faculty, it has expressed outrage at what Director of Education Clare Browne says was a reprehensible invasion of the school.
On Wednesday morning, February 1, a team led by Education Minister Daryll Matthew met with the teachers and also provided psychological support to the staff and students through the Counseling Unit.
The Ministry has also promised that everything will be done to guarantee that school security is vastly improved, so that any such reoccurrence is avoided.
Meanwhile, a video now in circulation shows a Clare Hall Secondary student being brutalized by her male schoolmate. Now, speculation is rife that the invasion on Tuesday might have been retaliation for this incident.
In the video, the male student is seen pulling a chair from beneath the female student, causing her to fall.
The girl hits him in defense, and the boy retaliates with an onslaught of blows during which the female strikes her head on a nearby desk. He then stands over the 13-year-old as she stumbles to her feet in a clearly disoriented state.
While the classroom is full of students, no one intervenes to assist the girl; instead, the others stand by filming the fight.
Allegations are that both students were suspended: the female for two days and the male for three.
It is alleged that the parents and the Police were informed of the incident.