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Student, teacher injured in brawl

Published:Tuesday | February 23, 2010 | 12:00 AM
The student of Vauxhall High School in Kingston who got into a fight with a teacher last week. - Norman Grindley/Chief Photographer

Arthur Hall, Senior Staff Reporter

The administration of the Vauxhall High School in east Kingston is standing behind one of its male teachers who was involved in a fracas with a student that left the schoolboy needing seven stitches to the nose and two stitches to the head.

"The boy attacked the teacher with a long knife and the teacher dealt with the situation admirably," Angella Chaplin, principal of Vauxhall, told
The Gleaner

"He is a problem child who comes to school and smokes ganja and, even though I don't give up on my children, I think he will have to take leave and return to sit his external examinations," Chaplin said of the 16-year-old grade-11 student.

The principal said the teacher who was also injured in the fracas last Tuesday is out on sick leave.

Chaplin noted that the child was taken to hospital by a member of staff.

The teenager, who spent a day in hospital, denied he had attacked the teacher with the knife, even though he admitted he had taken it to school and attempted to prevent the teacher from confiscating it.

"Mi did give mi friend the knife to hide and when the teacher find it, mi attempted to take it away from him," the schoolboy told
The Gleaner
at his house, which is also in east Kingston.

"We started to wrestle and him start to kick mi so me use a piece of board to hit him. I was on the floor when him take the board from mi and start using it to beat mi in the head," added the schoolboy.

He could provide no explanation for taking knife to school the day before the midterm break but was adamant that he was defenceless and lying on the floor when he was hit repeatedly by the teacher.

Why hit him

"The teacher ... had disarmed my son, so why did he hit him?" his mother asked as she spoke with
The Gleaner

She admitted that her son had been placed on probation last year for missing class and wearing inappropriate clothing but said he was not an indisciplined child.

"Why did they not bring the other disciplinary issues to my attention," his mother asked following a meeting with the school administration yesterday afternoon.

"Yes, my son was wrong to take the knife to school, but the teacher obviously lost it."

Vauxhall High School has struggled with disciplinary issues for years but has seen a marked improvement under Chaplin's leadership.

Last year, past students, parents and residents of surrounding communities staged an extended protest after news came that the school board had decided to replace her.

The student of Vauxhall High School in Kingston who got into a fight with a teacher last week.
- Norman Grindley/Chief Photographer