Student killed in fight over chair in St. James
A 12-year-old, grade-six student was killed yesterday and his classmate arrested after an alleged fight over a chair at Barrett Town All-Age School in St James.
A knife was used to inflict the fatal wound.
The dead student has been identified as Shyheim Lewis, of a Jenkins Corner address, also in Barrett Town.
Lewis reportedly sat the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) last week.
Lewis' mother, Jacinth Johnson, who could hardly contain her grief, said her son's life could have been saved had teachers acted decisively.
Student lick down me pickney ... . Me have son in grade two and them fling stone lick him down over there," said Johnson, recounting previous incidents of violence against her children at the school.
"Then dem stab me daughter with pencil down here ... . How security at the gate and student enter the school with ratchet knife? How come?"
Said Johnson: "When we go over deh, the pickney dem a bawl and the teacher dem stand up so. Teacher say dem don't want them car to blood up, so them allow the child to bleed to death."
Edmund Bartlett, the member of parliament for West Central St James, the constituency in which the school is located, expressed regret at the incident.
"I want to express my sympathies to the parents who have lost their child," Bartlett told The Gleaner. "It is a most painful experience to undergo, being involved in incidents that lead to death ... . It speaks to a real breakdown in our institutions to raise our children properly."
Efforts to get a comment from the school were unsuccessful, as The Gleaner was told that classes were dismissed shortly after the fatal incident. The student who inflicted the fatal wound was reportedly taken into police custody.