... says vice-principal
LOWE RIVER, Trelawny - THE recent murder of two little girls by their father, who subsequently hung himself in Woodgrove last week, has left students from the community severely traumatised.
Last week, Kenville Mullings, 33, allegedly cut the throats of his two daughters — Kimocoya, four, and K-alee, two — after a recent, heart-rending separation from their mother, Kelly-Ann Smith, with whom he shared a relationship.
According to Gloria McLean, the vice-principal of the Lowe River Primary and Junior High School, students have had to undergo counselling in the wake of the Woodgrove and other recent suicides committed in communities close to the school.
She made reference to a 11-year-old male student from Woodgrove who she said is seriously impacted by the double murder/suicide in his community, a week ago.
The senior educator related that she went to see the student after his mother complained to her about his "unusual behaviour".
"On Tuesday morning, after the child got up, he did not eat anything. His mother said Wednesday morning she had to feed him with a spoon, because he was just trembling and crying," said McLean.
She said after heading to the boy's class, she saw him sitting and staring blankly, as he twitched his fingers.
She recounted that she called the student outside and, during their interaction, he told her he was full of pity for the two little girls and was scared of their father.
"I said he is dead and would not be able to hurt you, but he replied by saying that he is still afraid of him and that he is sorry for the children," said McLean.
She added: "But it is not just him (the male student). A number of children in the community are affected."
She revealed that last week's horrifying incident followed closely on the heels of two recent suicides in two separate incidents in communities, not too far from the school.
One of those suicide victims usually sells snacks at the school's gate, she disclosed.
"I notice, too, that whenever these things calm down, afterwards when they (students) have little conflicts at school, you would hear one student telling the other, I am going to murder you. I am going to murder you, and I am going to hang myself after that, and things like that," McLean remarked.
She was speaking during a meeting spearheaded by Reverend Owen Watson, head of the Trelawny Victim Support at the Lowe River Primary and Junior High School, on Monday.
Also in attendance at the emotionally charged meeting were three high-ranking members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) from the Trelawny Division, other representatives from the Trelawny Victim Support, and teachers from the Lowe River Primary and Junior High School.
Strategies geared toward conflict resolution and addressing community members' concerns, were explored during the lengthy meeting.