Boy walked out, he was not suspended – Official
March 27, 2015
Boy walked out, he was not suspended – Official

Chief education officer Lou-Anne Gilchrist says it is not the plan of the Ministry of Education to keep 14-year-old Cheslon Antoine out of school.

In the March 24, 2015 edition of the SEARCHLIGHT, it was reported that the teenager has not been able to return to the Buccament Bay Secondary {{more}}School since February 17, 2015, when he says he was sent home for slapping a female student, after she hit him on his back.

According to Cheslon, a first former, as punishment for hitting the girl, he was beaten by the deputy principal with a leather belt and suspended from school for one week. He admitted that after being suspended, he threatened to “lick [the deputy principal] down with a big stone,” before leaving the school compound.

Last Monday, March 23, the boy’s mother, Vanessa Antoine, told SEARCHLIGHT that her son was scheduled to return to school on February 26, but she decided that she would not take him back until the following Monday.

However, she explained that when she took her son back to school on March 2, the principal, Kay Martin-Jack refused to speak with her. The Gibson Corner resident also stated that she was told that she should go to Hot 97.1 radio deejay “Too Cool Chris” to air her grievances, as she had done previously, instead of speaking with education officials.

Antoine said after Martin-Jack refused to see her, she went to the Ministry of Education, where she spoke with senior education officer with responsibility for secondary schools Asfo Stephens. She said Stephens promised to help, but since that first visit, she has returned many times for an update, but has been unable to have an audience with him.

“Every time me go check um he always busy…” she said.

She, therefore, called on the authorities to do what needed to be done so that her son could return to school.

However, the chief education officer told SEARCHLIGHT on Wednesday that Antoine was never suspended and that he “walked off the compound after cursing the school’s administration loudly, using expletives.

“His mother’s behaviour has been no different to us all over the last four or more years. I myself have been insulted by her. We have sought help for the student, but his mother does not cooperate,” Gilchrist said.

Gilchrist noted, however, that despite this, the Ministry of Education is currently in the process of making plans for intervention “with regard to behavioural modification for Cheslon.”