Tue | Jun 19, 2018

Grief counselling for Old Harbour High following teacher's slaying

Published:Monday | October 1, 2012 | 12:00 AM

Nedburn Thaffe, Gleaner Writer

A TEAM from the Ministry of Education's guidance and counselling unit is expected to provide grief counselling for students and teachers at Old Harbour High School, St Catherine, this morning after the savage killing of one of the teachers on the weekend.

Education Minister Ronald Thwaites, while labelling the incident as "absolutely tragic", yesterday said the matter had once again brought to the forefront the issue of behaviour modification, which must be addressed at all levels of society.

"I sincerely regret it … . We have to identify from the earliest stages these tendencies to uncontrolled anger and to apply whatever counselling and therapy is available … . I want to sympathise with them. I was told by the regional director that he will be sending a trauma team to the school (today)," Thwaites told The Gleaner yesterday.

chased by mob

According to the police, the 41-year-old information technology teacher, Michael Melbourne, was chased and stabbed to death by an angry mob after a vehicle which he was driving struck down four persons along the Old Harbour Road.

It was said the four were lending assistance to an unidentified man who had been injured earlier by a hit-and-run driver. Both Melbourne and the unidentified man succumbed to their injuries at hospital.

Yesterday, principal of Old Harbour High, Lynton Weir, while describing Melbourne as a resourceful individual who was loved by the entire school community, said the school "is not dealing with it well".

"We are talking about something that is very, very tragic. Past students have been calling me; present students have been calling me. Everybody is very sad over the situation.

"He was very resourceful and innovative. He was the first teacher who brought on-board at Old Harbour High School the 'Net administration course, where our students would have been certified through HEART Trust/NTA.

"Students were given a Level 1 and Level 2 certificate and he was the one who single-handedly brought this on-board," Weir said while also pointing out that he was instrumental in getting the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination programme started at the school.

Additionally, he described the killing of the teacher as a great loss to the human resources of the country.