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July 2, 2010
Father angry over beating of 7-year-old son

An aggrieved father of a seven-year-old student of the Kingstown Anglican School is planning to take legal action.{{more}}

Bain Griffith told SEARCHLIGHT in an interview on Wednesday, June 30, 2010, he is peeved over the beating of his son, Brian Griffith, which allegedly took place on May 12, 2010.

He expressed that he is even more upset over the treatment that has been meted out to his son by the teacher in question, even though officials from the Ministry of Education had tried to bring an amicable end to the situation by having a meeting with all the parties involved.

The elder Griffith told SEARCHLIGHT he and his wife Sharon had been willing to put the matter to rest after a meeting at the Ministry of Education on May 13, with Lou-Ann Gilchrist, Chief Education Officer; Elizabeth Betty Walker, Senior Education Officer/Primary Schools; Deborah Lynch, a teacher at the Kingstown Anglican School, and the teacher blamed for the beating.

But he says he has since changed his mind as the teacher has failed to accept responsibility for his actions, and has asked other students not to sit with Brian and demanded that Brian “move from in front of (him)” recently when he made a request to visit the washroom to urinate.

Covered with abrasions Bain said the episode started on May 12, 2010, when his wife discovered that Brian’s back was covered with abrasions. The irate father said that as soon as he got home and his wife showed him their son’s back, he took him to the Calliaqua Police Station.

He stated that he was directed to make a report at the Central Police Station in Kingstown since the incident took place in the district covered by that station.

After giving a statement there, Bain said he was asked to visit the District Medical Doctor that same night.

An examination carried out by the DMD about 10:00p.m., described the nature of Brian’s injuries as: “Large abrasion with dark discolouration over the left scapular region, tenderness or palpation. Small abrasion on the left arm.”

Bain disclosed that in the May 13, 2010, meeting the teacher was asked to explain what happened. It is claimed that he said that Brian was playing with another student and while running, he tripped on the electrical cord of a fan, causing the cord to burst.

The teacher also showed the education officials the belt that was used to flog his son, said Bain.

“He was speechless when they asked Brian to show his back. He said he didn’t know it was so serious,” said Bain.

The father noted that the teacher said that Brian was given six lashes with the belt, but his son recalled it was around 10.

Counted lashes

“They asked him how he (Brian) knew it was ten lashes. He said he counted them,” said Bain.

According to the father, the education officials had a short separate meeting with the teacher, and upon his return he appeared quite remorseful and apologized for the beating.

“I asked the ministry officials: I hope my son will not be neglected. They gave the assurance he will not be,” said Bain.

Bain recalled that when his son returned to school on May 14, the teacher acted very insensitively by saying: “His mommy took a picture of somebody else child and tell the Ministry and tell the police that is him.”

He said his wife reported the matter to the Ministry of Education but the taunting and maltreatment by the teacher has not stopped.

“On the thirteenth, when we were at the Ministry, we were actually prepared to accept the apology, because the guy showed real remorse, real sadness in his face,” said Bain.

Wife attacked

“At this level, there is nobody that could make me settle this anymore. Who knows later what could happen

to my son with these lashes?” said Bain.

“I have never jumped no channel of command. I have taken this thing stages by stages but still this guy is not stopping,” said Bain.

Bain said he is prepared to go all the way with the matter because his wife was recently attacked while feeding their son at the Kingstown Anglican School by the person who donated the fan.

On Wednesday afternoon, SEARCHLIGHT made several attempts to reach Permanent Secretary Nicole Bonadie-Baker as well as Gilchrist, but was told on every occasion they were in a meeting.