News

Anchovy High calls emergency meeting to discuss stabbing incident

TEXT AND PHOTO BY MARK CUMMINGS Observer staff reporter

Saturday, February 08, 2003    

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WESTERN BUREAU - The administration of the Anchovy Comprehensive High School in St James will hold an emergency meeting next week to decide what action to take against three 17 year-old boys who were involved in a stabbing incident at the school on Wednesday.

The fracas left one student hospitalised, another treated at hospital and released, and a third in police custody.

"An emergency board meeting will be held next week to discuss the matter and the strongest possible action will be taken against them," board chairman, Rev Leroy Sterling told the Observer.

"There is no doubt that the one who committed the act will be expelled. The one who is also an accessory to the act will also be expelled," he added.

The knife-wielding melee reportedly stemmed from an argument that took place between two Grade 11 boys during Wednesday's break interval at about 10:20 am.

Another student, who is said to be the friend of one of the students originally involved in the dispute, intervened. Knives were brought into play and two of the students received multiple stab wounds.

They were taken to the Cornwall Regional Hospital where one boy, who received stab wounds to the back, head and shoulder, was admitted. He was said to be in critical condition.

The other teenager was treated for wounds inflicted to the shoulder and then released.

The third student, who is now in police custody, has been arrested and charged with wounding and is expected to appear in court next week.

On Thursday, principal Dr Walton Small described the incident as unfortunate and said that that over the five years he has been at the helm, it was the "first of its kind" at the institution.

"It was a one-off situation, things like that don't happen here. It seems that the students just got hot-headed," Small said.

According to the principal, the boys who were involved in the incident were last year transferred from other high schools in the parish to the Anchovy Comprehensive High School because of behavioural problems.

He said he would recommend to the board that severe disciplinary action be taken against the students who were involved in Wednesday's incident.

Small pointed out that in recent years the school, which has a population of roughly 2,400 students, has become known for its excellent academic achievements and high level of discipline. He added that arising from Wednesday's incident, the school will be intensifying its spot checks and mentoring programmes in an effort to achieve an even higher level of discipline at the institution.

Wednesday's stabbing incident is just another in the list of similar occurrences at other educational institutions across the island.

Ten male students between the ages of 14 and 17 were last year suspended from the Frome Technical High School in Westmoreland after they were implicated in two consecutive days of violence that left the school population cowering in fear.

Last June, one 17 year-old student was stabbed to death at the St James High School in Montego Bay during a dispute with two other students.

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