Mother of 'battered' athlete to press charges

...Vere board to meet today to discuss alleged beating of student by coach

By Howard Walker
Senior staff reporter

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

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Almost two weeks after her alleged assault by a female coach at Vere Technical High School with a “PVC” pipe, 13-year-old Moesha James is currently on medication and out of school as she recuperates.

Ann-Marie James, mother of the young middle distance runner, told the Jamaica Observer that her daughter is still suffering from the bruises to her legs and hands and has to be missing classes at her new school, Hydel High.

“She is not in school today, she is on medication. She is still feeling pain to her hands and the lower parts of her leg,” James revealed.

With that in mind, James said she will be pressing charges against the accused coach, Sashauna Wellington.

“I will be pressing charges. Just seeing my daughter in pain I am angry, miserable, frustrated and everything. I can't sleep sometimes just thinking about the whole thing,” James admitted.

Young James, who hails from St Elizabeth and attended Bethlehem All Age, is a promising middle distance runner who finished third at the parish championships in the 800m. She was courted by a number of top girls' schools, but chose Vere Technical.

However, she was unable to participate at Boys' and Girls' Champs because Class Four doesn't facilitates middle distance running, so this year she was expected to make an impact in Class Three.

Meanwhile, her mother claims she went to the Ministry of Education in Kingston to lodge her complaint on Monday, and was referred to the minstry's Area Six division in Old Harbour, St Catherine, which has jurisdiction over Clarendon.

The now exhausted mother, who has to be travelling from St Elizabeth daily, said she will have to wait another day to travel to Old Harbour to continue her report on the matter.

She received the results from the X-rays conducted earlier and will be visiting the doctor today for an explanation of the findings.

James, still angry by Vere Technical's handling of the matter, said she expected nothing better. “As a matter of fact, they didn't contact me when the child was injured and I don't expect it now,” she said.

However, Henry Thompson, chairman of the school's board, told the Observer that a fact-finding meeting will be held today to look into the allegations.

“I saw the article yesterday morning and I called down there and spoke to the principal… I am having a meeting tomorrow (today), so I don't have the background, to be honest. But I am having a board meeting to see exactly what transpired because I wasn't aware of it,” said Thompson.

“We are meeting with the board and the principal first, and then we try and meet with the person mentioned and then the mother, hopefully.”

Chairman Thompson said this was the first time allegations of this nature have come to him.

“I knew of students clashing with other students, but not teachers allegedly assaulting students. But we will get to the bottom of that tomorrow (today),” he promised.

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