Thu | Aug 16, 2018

Kayalicia was a promising child - principal

Published:Wednesday | March 4, 2015 | 12:00 AMJodi-Ann Gilpin
Talbert Weir, principal of Donald Quarrie High School.
Students at Donald Quarrie High School in St Andrew arrive to news of a schoolmate's murder yesterday.
A student reflects on the death of a schoolmate at Donald Quarrie High School in St Andrew yesterday.

Staff and students at Donald Quarrie High School in Kingston were locked in a classroom, overcome with grief, as they tried to come to terms with the passing of 14-year-old Kayalicia Simpson, who was hacked to death at her home in Newlands, St Thomas, yesterday.

The group was receiving counselling from representatives of the Ministry of Education.

The Gleaner understands that Simpson woke up approximately four o'clock and went to an outside bathroom to take a shower. When she did not return, her grandmother reportedly went to investigate. She found the teen's body with her head almost severed. The police say no motive has yet been established for the killing and no suspects identified.

Principal of the school, Talbert Weir, noted that it was a great loss for the school.

"She was one of those students who we knew could easily pass eight subjects in one sitting; that's how confident we were as a school. I was waiting for her to get to fifth form because her grades have improved significantly since she started," he said, recalling the second-former's journey.

"Kayalicia was excited about school. Even though she is on the evening shift, she would be here from very early using the library and doing assignments. I am just stunned as to why she had to go that way or who would be so evil to take the life of such a wonderful child," he said.


trying to sensitise students


Ovnelle Smith, vice-principal for the junior school, told The Gleaner that since a similar incident that took place in Westmoreland recently, the school has been trying to sensitise students about ensuring their safety.

Fourteen-year-old Santoya Campbell, from Frome Technical High School, was found wrapped in a garbage bag near the Cabarita River Bridge in Frome, Westmoreland, on January 27.

"Since that incident, we have been on an education campaign informing students of ways to be safe whilst on the road, because we were so traumatised by what happened, and now the same thing fell in our lap," she said.

"She was a very focused child. Her form teacher is taking it very hard, along with her classmates. We just don't know how we will cope, but we hope for the best," Smith said.

In the meantime, Minister of Youth and Culture Lisa Hanna condemned the killing, noting that such attacks of such nature have no place in our society and called for residents in the community to share any information they may have with the security forces.

"The Ministry of Youth and Culture condemns in the strongest possible terms the level of violence brought against this innocent child as she got ready for school. There can be no justification for such unspeakable savagery against a 14-year-old," the minister said.

According to Hanna, the nation must exercise greater levels of care for and protection of our children who remain among the most vulnerable in our society.