Gary Spaulding, Senior Gleaner Writer
A basic school teacher is battling for life and the parent of a five-year-old boy behind bars after allegedly knocking her unconscious, only weeks after another teacher was attacked at the Dunrobin Primary School in St Andrew.
An assistant teacher at the Timothy Burke Basic School in Lucky Hill, St Mary, who was at the scene of the more recent attack, had to flee for her life after the parent who was also employed to the early-childhood institution as a groundsman directed his fury at her.
The father of the five-year-old student did not take kindly to 44-year-old teacher Jacqueline Samuels chastising his son for continuously urinating in the classroom instead of informing him, and unleashed his anger at the two educators.
Emotions gushed from Samuels' daughter, Stacey-Ann Smith, who visited her comatose mother in the Intensive Care Unit at the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH) to which the injured woman was transferred.
Stacey-Ann told The Gleaner Tuesday that she was seeing for the first time the gash on her mother's head, from the brick that struck her, as the medical practitioners had removed the bandage.
"Me nuh feel good at all," she mumbled. "All in my mind is revenge right now ... me very upset because the child is five years old, he is not a baby ... look at my mother."
Stacey-Ann's uncle, Edmondo Samuels (brother of the wounded educator), was just as upset.
"Me feel real bad," he echoed. "This is not a joke. I am going to be meeting with the principal ... ."
The accused parent reportedly turned himself in to the Gayle police later in the day. He has since been charged with attempted murder. He is scheduled to face the court today.
instructed to wipe
Based on what her brother was told by the assistant teacher, who narrowly escaped injury, Samuels had expressed frustration with the child's repeated refusal to inform her of his need for release and admonished the child, handed him a mop and instructed him to wipe up the area.
"The little boy was messing up himself and the class daily, as a result of which she spoke to him," Edmondo told The Gleaner.
He said word reached the child's father, who accosted Samuels and accused her of "taking step" with his son.
He said during a verbal exchange, the teacher turned to walk away when the parent grabbed two bricks and hurled them at her head. Samuels was reportedly alerted by her colleague, but it was too late.
Samuels was rushed in an unconscious state to the St Ann's Bay Hospital in neighbouring St Ann and immediately airlifted to the KPH.
"When I reached the hospital, my sister was already in a helicopter," he told The Gleaner.
Principal of the school, Phillipa Hill, told The Gleaner that it was only a day before the attack that she spoke to the father and urged him to stay out of bad company.
Giving her account of the incident as it was related to her, Hill told The Gleaner the student had "wet" himself when the senior assistant teacher instructed the little boy to clean up the mess.
"The father came along, told the child not to clean it up before taking the child and proceeded to leave the premises," she said. "For some reason, he turned back, took up two pieces of decorative building blocks and threw one at the other teacher, hitting her in the head."
It was at that point that he turned his attention to the assistant teacher who was reportedly attempting to resolve the dispute.
"The man said to her, 'All you to'," before chasing her. The assistant teacher had to flee for her life into the primary school next door and into the principal's office.
Hills said Irons then rode his bicycle out of the school and later turned himself in to the police.
"I am feeling cut up ... I rue this attack, it could be me, all of us live harmoniously to make life easier for both teachers and students."