Teacher and athletes left behind
October 8, 2010
Teacher and athletes left behind

A physical education teacher is uncertain if he will allow athletes under his guidance to compete in future events of Team Athletics St. Vincent and the Grenadines (TASVG), following an unfortunate incident two weeks ago.{{more}}

Just hours after creating history by being the first team to cross the finish line and also to take the primary schools title in the Round D Town road relay, physical education teacher Rayon Murray said that he and five students of the Petit Bordel Secondary School and Chateaubelair Methodist School were left behind by the driver of the bus with which they travelled.

Murray, who teaches technical drawing and woodwork, along with P.E., at the Petit Bordel Secondary School, said that after the road race, which took place on September 26 in Kingstown, a number of students went to the KFC uptown to purchase meals for the long ride home just before 6:00 p.m.

“I stayed behind at the KFC to make sure all the kids got their stuff,” Murray recounted.

“On return from the restaurant along with five other students, two from Petit Bordel and three from Chateaubelair, the bus had already gone.”

“I then phoned a student on the bus and asked him to let me speak to the school bus driver. When I spoke to him, I told him that a number of students and I were still in Kingstown and I understood that he had left already.”

“He told me that he had to work in the morning and he was not turning back and he ended the conversation.”

Murray said that his next action was to go to the Central Police Station. He related that when he got there and told the police officer at the front desk the situation, another call was made to the bus driver via the student, and again the driver ended the conversation.

At that time, the bus was at Gibson Corner.

According to Murray, an attempt was made by police at the Questelles Police Station to turn the bus around, but that was futile.

Police in Layou were successful in sending the driver back to pick up the athletes and teacher who were stranded in Kingstown.

“Going down, I did not interact with him and he did not interact with me,” Murray said. “But when we were going down, he was driving like a crazy man and the children were enjoying the ride.”

He said they reached North Leeward some time after 8pm.

The teacher, who had gone on sport outings with students before, said that this is the first time he had travelled with that driver, and has never had such an experience with other drivers.

He said that he looks forward to going on further outings with the students, for example, the upcoming events scheduled to take place this weekend with the local athletics association, but is uncertain what he and his athletes will face when it is time to return home.

The teacher admitted that in all fairness, the driver was waiting for more than half an hour for the more than 28 students who went to the restaurant, but said that he should have exercised some restraint before deciding to leave them behind.

“I couldn’t believe the man would do that, considering that there were students involved, and he has children also.”

“Besides, it’s Chateaubeliar, and it’s Sunday when there is no possible way for me to get a ride.”

Meanwhile, Leroy LLewellyn of TASVG confirmed that the association is aware of the situation, and indicated that the athletes will be transported by a different driver for future events.(JJ)