June 17, 2011

Teacher assaulted while trying to stop rival gangs

The bravery of a teacher may have averted a clash between rival gangs at the Bethel High School, Campden Park, but the incident almost cost him his life.{{more}}

When contacted on Wednesday, June 15, police confirmed that investigations are being carried out into a report made by Kenson Wilson, a teacher at the Bethel High School, on Friday, June 10, in which he was assualted while trying to stop a fight between students who are members of the rival “One Order” and “GOG” gangs.

Reports claim that the incident started at approximately 11:30a.m. on Friday, June 10, when a male student was assaulted by two residents of Campden Park.

It is said that the student left the vicinity of the school and returned with three men.

On arrival at the school, the men stayed at the gate and instructed the student to burst the head of another male student.

A source told SEARCHLIGHT that Wilson, realising that the situation could have turned violent, called out to the student who had returned with the men, so that he could take him to the principal’s office.

But the student disobeyed his instructions and proceeded to the top floor through a restricted area of the school’s compound to confront another male student, who is a member of the “One Order” gang.

The source, who prefers to remain anonymous, said Wilson was able to stop the student from attacking the “One Order” gang member and was leading him to the staff room, when he was pushed by a member of the “GOG” gang, who demanded that he release the student.

Reports claim that the teacher was pushed a second time, and this caused him to trip and tumble to the bottom of the stairs.

It is said as Wilson attempted to get up, a teacher rushed past him to prevent another male student from hitting Wilson to the back of the head with a piece of wood, which was removed from a desk at the school.

According to the source, the students then waged an attack on Wilson and his fellow teacher as they led them to the Principal’s office. The teachers were forced to defend themselves by restraining the students. Wilson and the teacher were joined by two other male teachers and students in bringing the skirmish under control.

The incident was reported to the Questelles Police Station and as a result of his fall, Wilson had to visit the doctor.

When contacted on Wednesday, June 15, Wendel Edwards, Principal of the Bethel High School, told Searchlight that he had submitted a report on the incident to the Ministry of Education and prefers the Ministry to deal with the matter.

“I do admit that there are gangs prevalent in the area; students in the school belong to gangs, students from the outside are also involved in the gang warfare as well. But I have written to the Ministry of Education concerning the matter. In fact, I am really awaiting their take on it,” said Edwards.

Under the St.Vincent and the Grenadines Education Act 2006, a principal may suspend a student for assaulting a teacher for a period not exceeding 10 days. The principal may also recommend that the Chief Education Officer expel the student.

SEARCHLIGHT made several attempts on Wednesday to contact Louann Gilchrist, Chief Education Officer, for a comment on the matter, but we were unable to reach her.