Sat | Apr 21, 2018

Wolmer's student to get psych eval over threatening voice note

Published:Tuesday | February 20, 2018 | 12:00 AMSyranno Baines/Gleaner Writer
Wolmer's Boys School in Kingston.

The education ministry is assisting the police in conducting a psychological assessment of the 17-year-old student of Wolmer's Boys' School who was taken into custody for questioning yesterday over alleged threats of violence and murder against fellow students in an audio clip that went viral on the weekend.

The approximately 10-minute audio file, with a voice suspected to be that of the youngster claiming he might be the next school shooter or serial killer, began circulating on social media on Sunday.

In his ramble, the boy complained of being ostracised and abandoned by persons close to him in his time of need.

Led by Assistant Commissioner of Police Fitz Bailey, detectives from the Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigation Branch questioned the student, along with his parents, about the voice note he reportedly sent to a teacher. Other students are also being questioned in relation to the matter.

A statement issued by the education ministry yesterday afternoon stated that the student has indicated that he would have attempted suicide twice before. It also noted that one relative who was interviewed said he was found reading a book that has the digits 666, the biblical Mark of the Beast, on the cover. The book was later destroyed.

 

SCHOOL COMMUNITY SAFE

 

As a result of preliminary discussions held among ministry officials and school administrators, a follow-up meeting has been scheduled for today, which will include the chairman of the school board.

Among the matters to be addressed are the general safety and security of the school, as well as risks, threats and areas that may need strengthening.

Yesterday, principal of the institution, Dr Walton Small, sought to quell the anxiety, declaring that the school community was extremely safe.

"I doubt if more than 10 per cent of the school knows about it, but everything is fine. School is happening and I will provide more information as it comes along," he said.

The police have since urged individuals to desist from circulating the audio clip, stating that it may cause undue anxiety.

The incident has come on the heels of the latest school shooting in the United States, where an expelled student shot and killed 17 people in Parkland, Florida.

syranno.baines@gleanerjm.com