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JUST IN: Gov't to open formal probe into St George's schoolboy's death

Published:Friday | September 23, 2016 | 9:46 PM
Education and Youth Minister Ruel Reid said the ministry is "interested" in finding out whether there were any breaches of safety guidelines for students involved in contact sports.

The Government is to open a formal investigation into the death of high school footballer Dominic James.

Education and Youth Minister Ruel Reid said the ministry is "interested" in finding out whether there were any breaches of safety guidelines for students involved in contact sports.

James, captain of the St George's College Manning Cup team, died on Tuesday after collapsing on the Stadium East Field in Kingston during a match against Excelsior High.

There was no stretcher or ambulance at the match.

http://jamaica-gleaner.com/sites/default/files/styles/jg_article_image/public/media/article_images/2016/09/20/dominic-james-1.jpg?itok=-cCIHbFb

IN PHOTO: Dominic James

 

Opposition Senator Mark Golding questioned Reid about whether the Government intended to formally probe how James died to determine if anyone should be held accountable and how to address gaps in protocols.

Senate President Tom Tavares Finson cautioned that he would intervene if Golding's query introduced a debate on who should be blamed for the death.

Golding rejected the comments after which Reid confirmed that the ministry will be investigating the circumstances of the 18-year-old's death.

Meanwhile, the education and youth minister said an inter-ministerial taskforce is to be established to develop "crucial protocols and guidelines, training and capacity building, also fundamental regulation and the enforcement and mobilisation of resources" to protect students in sports.

That taskforce is to be convened by Sports Minister, Olivia 'Babsy' Grange.

Meanwhile, Reid noted that the education ministry has had a safety manual for contact sports since 2008.

The Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) has been looking into the circumstances of the death, but that body is not a State entity.