Proud mom lauds daughter's CAPE success after son's death

Proud mom lauds daughter's CAPE success after son's death

But holder of two degrees laments slow movement in police force

Senior staff reporter

Sunday, October 11, 2020

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SHEREE Thomas is still mourning the death of her son Javaughn Black, who drowned in Canada two years ago while on vacation, but the success of her eldest child has been her glimmer of hope.

Thomas, in a recent interview with the Jamaica Observer, shared that the grief process since Javaughn's death has not been easy and each time she thinks about the circumstances she is overcome with pain and guilt.

“When I remember how he died it's sad. He was afraid to die and whenever there was the threat of a hurricane, he would say, 'mommy isn't that going to kill us'. I remember he was afraid to die and he died that way. It hurts. Every time I think about it – not being able to be there to save him, I bring that guilt on my shoulder and I continue to blame myself,” Thomas said.

But last year her guilt lessened when her daughter Jhonelle Moore, a student at Immaculate Conception High copped nine grade ones in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate Examinations (CSEC). This year, Thomas is again bursting with joy as Moore has once again made her proud by bagging five ones in the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE).

“This is the second-consecutive year she is getting straights ones in her subjects since her brother's death. Last year we were shocked because the death of Javaughn affected her so much as she was at the beach. Last year she bet her father and I $50,000 each that she would get all ones, so she got $100,000 last year. This year we didn't bet her but when her grades came out she was afraid to open it to look,” Thomas said.

But Thomas' suspense carried on for a day as her daughter waited until the following morning to let her in on the good news, but not without inserting a bit of mischief.

“In the morning she text me one of those little funny face things and I said, 'What? Tell me the bad news'. She said to me why do you think it's bad and I said, 'Okay, tell me the good news' and she said, 'Okay, why do you think it's good?' The moment she said that I know she got some ones. She sent it to my phone and I said wow, I wish I was as bright as her,” Thomas said.

Moore got grade ones in CAPE Unit I physics, Spanish, communication tudies, chemistry and pure maths.

But, for Thomas, who is a detective corporal with the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and also the mother of a three-month-old baby girl, her daughter's success keeps her motivated despite her own struggles with career advancement.

“I'm a police officer and though I have two degrees — a Bachelor of Science in Public Sector Management and a Bachelor of Laws — I've been in my rank for 17 years and it's so unfair to see I've been supervised by so many persons who come into the job with just CXCs. I have a BSc, I have an LLB, so what is the problem? Maybe its gender inequality. The last two persons who were promoted they have nothing behind their name. Two of them I got more than them in my exams so I don't know what is the problem,” Thomas said.

“I wish I was bright like Jhonelle. I did my law degree at UTech and I have done the entrance test at Norman Manley Law School three times and was unsuccessful all three times. I wish I had her brains to do it. She is doing Upper Sixth but she is more focused on studying overseas. I saw her doing applications and she did SATs and her grades were good but she insists she wants better grades so she is going to do it again. But because of COVID, she didn't get the chance this year. I haven't been able to push myself up so I am hoping she help me to in the future,” Thomas said.

Further, the woman detective corporal said she has her sights set on moving on from the JCF.

“I have made applications for five jobs since September. I think it is unfair for me to be a corporal since 2003. I work hard, I do my work, my Superintendents have made recommendations for me to be promoted – nothing. If I am promoted to a gazetted rank, I will stay but I don't think the force treated me fair. People who came in and saw me as a supervisor are now supervising me. It is very demotivating. Having a salary under one position for almost 17 years, it is disgusting. As a detective the additional is like $3,000 more. It's crazy,” Thomas said.

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