Sat | Feb 29, 2020

Guardians must inspire, show love ... Says grieving teacher of murdered 13-y-o

Published:Monday | September 10, 2018 | 12:00 AMSyranno Baines/ Gleaner Writer
Teacher Kimberly Rose (left) comforts a classmate of 13-year-old Shanoya Wray while other classmates look at a programme ahead of the murdered girl’s thanksgiving service at the Bedward Gardens Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Bedward Gardens, St Andrew, yesterday.

When no one else was up for classroom discussions, Shanoya Wray's enthusiasm for learning and keenness to participate would always spark productive discourse, and it is this trait that family and consumer management teacher Kimberly Rose will miss the most.

Rose was among the scores of family members, friends, teachers, and students from the New Day Primary and Junior High School in attendance at the thanksgiving ceremony for the 13-year-old girl yesterday at the Bedward Gardens Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Bedward Gardens, St Andrew.

Wray's skeletal remains were found at a house in Mona, St Andrew, a few days after she went missing on July 16.

"One of my last and fondest memories of her is when I was giving out some award certificates, and though she didn't meet the grade, I decided I was going to reward her for her enthusiasm and her always being prepared for class," Rose recounted.

"What's memorable is that she screamed so loud when her name was called, and she was just so appreciative of that small certificate that to some, would not mean anything. So it is really sad that we have lost her, especially in the way we have," she told The Gleaner.

The eighth-grader, who aspired to become a science teacher at the secondary level, would have celebrated her 14th birthday on Friday, and Rose, who taught her for two consecutive school years, believes she had the right attitude and attributes to achieve her goals.




"If I was allowed another moment with her, just a short moment, I would help her to realise her worth as she was so filled with potential. I would also tell her how precious she is because as guardians, we forget how important it is sometimes to inspire and show love every single day," Rose intimated, further appealing to adults and law enforcement to commit themselves to ensuring the protection of the nation's children.

As the start of the service drew nearer and the congregation spilled over outside, Wray's mother, Shauna Kay Hall, cut a dejected and dispirited figure as she sat at the back entrance of the church, tears streaming down her face.

Almost directly in front of her, at the top of the aisle and in front of the congregation, stood an effigy of 'Diffy' as Wray was affectionately known.

"Another innocent child murdered by animals dressed as men," asserted a woman who spoke on condition of anonymity.