Wed | Oct 18, 2017

Student dies in rush for political protest, education minister angered

Published:Friday | September 18, 2015 | 6:58 PM

The education ministry is condemning the involvement of children in what it says was a political protest which led to the death of a student.

The child, 11-year-old Octavia Smith, a student of the Prickly Pole Primary School in Bensonton, St Ann reportedly collapsed and died as she ran to get onto a bus that had been sent to take students to the site of the protest.

In a release this afternoon, the ministry said some parents took their children out of the school to participate in a political demonstration in Claremont.

Education Minister, Ronald Thwaites, is deploring the actions of school and community officials who reportedly participated in the protest or condone it.

He says the behaviour of the adults set a very bad example of how problems are to be resolved.

According to Thwaites, nothing could justify the disruption of students’ attendance in school and their involvement in a political dispute.

In the meantime, the Youth Minister Lisa Hanna has instructed the Child Development Agency (CDA) to deploy a team of first responders to provide support to the classmates of the deceased child and to investigate the circumstances under which the children were taken out of school.

Chief Executive Officer of the CDA, Rosalee Gage-Gray has reportedly promised a full investigation into the matter.

She added that the agency’s social workers and psychologist will continue to provide support to other children affected by the untimely passing of the student.