Boy commits suicide after row with schoolmate
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October 5, 2010
Boy commits suicide after row with schoolmate

Eleven-year-old Aldan Richards became this county’s most recent suicide after ingesting gramoxone, following an altercation involving him and another student.{{more}}

Richards consumed the toxic substance last Wednesday, September 29, following an incident at school. He died at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital Saturday, October 2, shortly before 7 p.m.

The boy had been living with his father, Felix Richards at Belmont, for just over 2 years.

Father, Felix Richards told SEARCHLIGHT that he and the boy’s mother, Lydia Stay, had separated when Aldan was just under one-year-old.

He had been living with his mother and had recently transferred into the Belmont Government School from the Fancy Government School.

The grade 6 student was a candidate in the 2010 common entrance examination, but was unsuccessful.

Richards said that he received a phone call from his son’s Headteacher on Wednesday afternoon.

“He said that there had been an altercation between Aldan, a teacher and another student and that he wanted me to come into the school the following morning,” Richards said, adding that the principal had also asked if he was aware of his son’s use of obscene language.

“I said yes, but behind back, not in front of face; you can’t trust kids,” he continued.

That was the end of the conversation then, between the father and the principal.

A few minutes later, Richards said that his cousin called to inform him that Aldan drank some gramoxone.

Richards, a mason, said that he immediately packed up and left the job site. He (Richards) said that he was soon after instructed to go to the hospital and wait there for the boy to arrive.

“When they brought him in, I asked what happened,” Richards told SEARCHLIGHT.

He said that his son told him that a teacher had beaten him and another student the day before, (Tuesday, September 28) and that on their way home, the same student started interfering with him (Aldan).

Richards added that his son went on to say that the student went back to school and was telling lies on him.

“He said the boy went back and tell the teacher he say this and that, so the Wednesday when he went back to school, the teacher confronted him and then put him out of the class.”

Richards said that his son said that he was afraid, because the teacher had told him that his father had been called in, and that he was afraid that his father would beat him.

“I said whey par all dis come from?” I don’t ill treat you,” Richards said he told his son.

He further contended that his son had not told him anything of what had taken place the day before at school.

“He never said anything, but if he did, I would have gone in to the school on the Wednesday,” Richards contended.

He further contended that he never hit his son, but he did say that he was stern with the young man.

The grieving man described his son as a good child, one who never spoke much.

Keesha Richards, Aldan’s cousin, also described him as a quiet boy.

She added that Aldan confided in her and would often tell her of problems he had at school.

Keesha discovered Aldan shortly after he had ingested the deadly substance around 3:30 p.m. on her way from picking up her son from school.

“I saw him outside the window heaving. At first, I thought it was probably some medication he drank,” Keesha told SEARCHLIGHT.

She said that she rushed inside and pulled him in and began questioning him.

“Ah say, yuh drink something?” And he said ah just drink some gramoxone.”

He said that he consumed a mouthful, and that he had thrown the rest out of his window, Keesha said.

She said that Aldan said that he was “tired and fed up” and that the teacher never believed him when he tried to explain.

Keesha said that she started to cry and then sent her son to call her mother and brother for assistance.

She further contended that while a patient at the MCMH, the boy told her that the other students would often tell lies on him that he was tired of the teacher.

She further stated that Aldan would often confide in her that he was having a hard time at school and that he was often bullied by the other students.

Keesha said that the situation had gotten worse over time, especially when he had entered Grade 6.

She said that she would tell the boy’s father what was going on.

“It’s hard, everytime I think of it,” Keesha said, as she reacted to the boy’s death.

“He said he was fed up of the teacher, he said that everything was licks,” she continued.

But the family maintains that they never expected that Aldan would take his own life.

Mom Lydia Stay, said that she remembered her son as being quiet and liked person.

“He never troubled anyone and he never complained about anything,” Stay told SEARCHLIGHT.

She said that it was customary for her to call her son every morning, before he left for school when she said she would ask him if everything was ok.

The family contends that if the situation had been handled differently, this may not have been the outcome.

“He was afraid of licks, and the teacher was always beating him, he (the teacher) should have known differently,” Keesha said.

She added that if the matter had been dealt with differently and the teacher would have spoken to him instead of putting him out of the class, Aldan would have been alive.

While refusing to comment on the details surrounding the incident, Godwin Gibson, Headteacher of the Belmont Government School said that he and his staff were saddened by what happened.

He said that he had recently been transferred into the school and was therefore unable to comment on the boy’s demeanour. (DD)