Gareth Davis, Gleaner Writer
PASSLEY GARDENS, Portland:
DORM PRIVILEGES have been revoked following a stabbing incident at the College of Agriculture, Science and Education (CASE) in Portland on Tuesday, which resulted in a first-year female student being hospitalised in critical but stable condition.
According to reports from the school's administration, the first-year student was taking a bath when a final-year student allegedly took her photograph and attempted to upload it to the Internet.
The new student, who is enjoying her first month at CASE, reportedly objected to her image being uploaded and drew a scissors. The report said during a struggle, the weapon was taken from the grasp of its owner, and she was stabbed seven times all over her body.
President of CASE, Dr Mary Nichols, who condemned the stabbing incident at its West campus, argued that ragging is an illegal act, which will no longer be tolerated at that institution.
The student, who was rushed to the Port Antonio Hospital on Sunday, was reportedly stabbed twice in her chest, three times in one hand and twice on her wrist.
"It is a clear violation of students' rights," said Dr Nichols. Students must not be subjected to intimidation and abuse, and anyone caught engaging in such illicit practice will be severely disciplined. She added: "It cannot be that students are preying on the innocence of others. Normal operations have commenced at CASE, as we have contained the problem. It is an unfortunate one-off situation, and the school board will be meeting shortly to decide what disciplinary action will be taken."
Dr Nichols pointed out that the student is now recovering at hospital, and her condition is not considered to be life-threatening.
Following the incident, the student at the centre of the stabbing was arrested and is still in custody.
Commanding officer for the parish Superintendent Noel Christie gave an inspirational talk to students at the college's grounds, about the need for tolerance, and for them to exercise patience and good discipline.
During Tuesday's devotional exercise, Dr Nichols instructed the dean in charge of students' affairs to report any incident of ragging among students or run the risk of being dragged before the school board for failing to act appropriately and professionally.
Dr Nichols added: "We are supporting both students, who are affected by the stabbing incident. However, the law has to take its course."