PM Holness celebrates student-heroes in B.B. Coke school beating incident
Prime Minister Andrew Holness has commended five students of B.B. Coke High School in St Elizabeth for their heroic actions in seeking medical attention for their schoolmate who was beaten unconscious by a fellow student last week.
The youngsters – Leon Barnes, Khari Green, Garry Bartley, Daejuan Gordon and Dejaun Powell – were each presented with a laptop and a certificate of official commendation on Tuesday at Jamaica House.
The boys helped their injured classmate through the town of Junction on September 28, after he was attacked by a schoolmate who knocked him unconscious. He had reportedly stepped on the senior student's shoes.
The 14-year-old remains hospitalised.
“It is not often that we see the kind of response that we saw with the young men from B.B. Coke and how they assisted their fellow student," said Holness. "The level of social dissonance that we see, particularly in our schools, particularly with the use of violence can sometimes lead us to believe that the value base of the society is totally eroded."
“What we saw being displayed is a reaffirmation that the core of our society is still good and that there are young people in our society, without prompting, who will act in the interest of their fellowmen,” the prime minister added.
Holness said the students acted as good Samaritans and their deeds must be acknowledged, praised and encouraged because the student's "survival today could be tied to the actions of these young men".
In response, Garry said he was grateful to meet the prime minister, adding that the gift of a laptop is one he will always remember.
Khari also expressed gratitude for the laptop presented to him, noting that he will be giving his used device to his sister.
Minister of Education and Youth, Fayval Williams, who shared that she has visited the hospitalised student several times, commended the Ministry of Health and Wellness for its role in assisting the injured student.
“Up to Sunday afternoon, we were there (at hospital) with his mother, uncle, his aunt, his brother and other relatives, ” she said, noting that when she last saw the student, he was able to sit up in a chair.
“He indicated that he was feeling well and that, most importantly, he had already forgiven the other student who caused him to be in the hospital,” Mrs. Williams said.
Meanwhile, Board Chairman, Cetany Holness, praised the students for their actions.
“No vehicle was available at the time [of the incident] and they took him up in their hands and took him to the doctor. As chairman of the institution, I commend them highly for what they have done,” Holness said.
The 16-year-old accused student has since been charged with assault occasioning grievous bodily harm. He was offered bail on Monday and is expected to return to court tomorrow.
- JIS News contributed to this report
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