Corinaldi staff in fear after stepdad accused of battering guard
Principal of Corinaldi Avenue Primary, Deon Anglin, said her staff are fearful of a repeat of the violence that resulted in the injury to a security guard who was involved in a bust-up with a student’s step-parent on Monday.
Classes were cancelled Tuesday and the school board is to make a final decision on the fate of the child after a general meeting with the parent body on Wednesday.
Reports are that the first-grader’s stepfather, whose name is being withheld to protect the child’s identity, went to the school at approximately 4:15 p.m. on Monday and told the security guard, 54-year-old Euton Fearon, that his daughter was missing.
The guard told The Gleaner that he informed the father that the child was playing in the schoolyard and had not gone missing.
“I knew the child was not missing because children of a certain age are not allowed to leave the facility without an adult,” Fearon said.
School policy dictates that parents and guardians wait outside the gates to collect their children as a coronavirus safety measure.
Fearon alleged that the stepfather, a Transport Authority employee, forced his way through the gate and engaged in a physical altercation with the guard, saying he was shoved in the chest and slapped in the face.
“I asked him to call the child’s teacher and he said he didn’t know her number. I gave him the number for the principal, and he said, ‘Mi nah call no principal. A mi pickney mi want,’” Fearon recounted while receiving treatment at Cornwall Regional Hospital on Tuesday.
The guard alleged that he was disarmed of his baton, pushed to the ground by his attacker, and kicked repeatedly. It was while on the ground that he sustained an injury to the right side of his face.
“I blacked out, and when I tried to get up, I could hardly stand,” Fearon, who has worked at the school for the last four years, said.
Up to press time, he was still at hospital awaiting more tests.
The stepfather was reportedly more than an hour late picking up the child. The fight happened while some students were in the middle of mock exams.
In the meantime, the Transport Authority has confirmed that the employee has been moved from front-line duties while it carries out an investigation into the incident.
In a statement released on Tuesday, the company expressed regret and concern at the report of the “alleged altercation” captured in a viral video.
The staffer was dressed in the company’s uniform.
“The Authority is awaiting the outcome of this internal investigation and will treat with the findings in accordance with its Grievance Procedures and Disciplinary Codes,” said the press statement, adding that it implored all employees to resolve conflicts amicably.
The transport regulator said it empathised with the teachers, parents, and students who were exposed to alleged violence.
The police are conducting an independent investigation into the matter.
Corinaldi will remain closed to classes today as administrators address parents.
Only sixth-graders sitting the Primary Exit Profile exams will have classes.
The school reopens on April 25 after the Easter break.