Trouble at St. Mary’s; parent questioned by police about alleged threat to student
Parents of students at St Mary’s Roman Catholic School listen to school official following an incident at the school
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May 27, 2022
Trouble at St. Mary’s; parent questioned by police about alleged threat to student

A man who entered the St Mary’s Roman Catholic School compound and allegedly threatened a female Grade five student this week has been discharged by police pending further investigation into the matter.

POLICE OFFICERS who have children attending the St Mary’s Roman Catholic School seeking answers

And the child, who was reportedly threatened, is said to be traumatised by the incident which took place in her classroom on Wednesday afternoon.

SEARCHLIGHT understands that there was a misunderstanding between two female, Grade five students at the school.

The father of one of these students entered the compound on Wednesday to speak with the principal, after which he apparently went in search of the young girl, took her photo and made threatening statements towards her.

Police were subsequently called to the scene.

However, rumours began circulating via several channels on Wednesday afternoon that a man had entered the Catholic School compound “brandishing a firearm”, which resulted in frightened parents immediately leaving their workplaces and congregating at the school’s North River Road entrance.

The crowd of parents, who sought to confirm whether what they had heard was true and remove their children from what they considered a dangerous situation, were met by teachers attempting to allay their fears with assurances that what was being circulated, was not accurate.

“Do not be dismayed,” one teacher said to the growing crowd on Wednesday, adding that there was no need for alarm. “If it were so, you would’ve known by now. School would’ve been dismissed…”

But some parents questioned these assurances, especially since they had, in some instances, received worrying messages from teachers at the school about an incident which had taken place that afternoon.

At least one online news site and two radio stations also reported that a man had apparently entered the Catholic School compound with a weapon.

“I scatter, scatter to come down here how I was frighten,” one parent told SEARCHLIGHT, adding that she immediately thought of the school shooting this week in Uvalde, Texas USA where 19 students and two teachers were killed.

The mother said when she arrived, no one told her anything except that what was being circulated via various channels was not true.

She added however, that when she arrived at the primary school, policemen were on the compound.

“While I stand up there by the school gate, more policemen come here with guns so you can’t say nothing happen, you can’t tell me nothing happen. Something happened and it’s not nothing to hide,” she said, stressing once again how fearful she was.

This mother was able to retrieve her six-year-old daughter, and it seemed that a few other parents were also able to take their children in the early stages of the afternoon.

However, as time progressed and more parents clamoured for their children to be let out, principal, Eula Johnny addressed those at the school gate, in an attempt to calm the situation.

“From what we know, the gentleman had no gun…” the principal said, explaining that an upset parent came to the school to speak with her about an incident involving his child.

Johnny said the father was not supposed to be on the school compound but entered when the security guard went looking for her (Johnny).

She told parents that she spoke with the man and believed that he had left, but instead, he went upstairs to a classroom, where he proceeded to take a photo of a child.

She added that there was no need for parents to take their children from school at that time.

A statement was issued by the Police Public Relations and Complaints Department sometime after 3:00 p.m on Wednesday refuting “reports being circulated on social media that state a man entered the St. Mary’s Roman Catholic School Compound in Kingstown ‘brandishing a firearm’”.

“There was an incident earlier today at the said school and the person of interest is cooperating with the police. The students and members of staff are safe,” it said.