KINGSTON, Jamaica – Prime Minister Andrew Holness has commended five students of BB Coke High School for their heroic actions in seeking medical attention for their severely injured schoolmate, enlisting them as ‘Ambassadors for Good’.
The youngsters – Leon Barnes, Khari Green, Garry Bartley, Daejuan Gordon and Dejaun Powell – were each presented with a laptop and a certificate of official commendation on Tuesday at Jamaica House, “in recognition of exemplary and selfless action performed on behalf of Jaheim Coleman, a fellow student at the BB Coke High School on Thursday, 28th September, 2023”.
Last Thursday, 14-year-old Jaheim Colman, was beaten unconscious, allegedly by a grade 11 student, for stepping on a pair of Clarks shoes, and had to be moved on foot by his schoolmates to a doctor's office about 500 metres away.
“It is not often that we see the kind of response that we saw with the young men from BB Coke and how they assisted their fellow student, Jaheim. The level of social dissonance that we see, particularly in our schools, particularly with the use of violence can sometimes lead us to believe that the value base of the society is totally eroded,” he said.
“What we saw being displayed is a reaffirmation that the core of our society is still good and that there are young people in our society, without prompting, who will act in the interest of their fellowmen,” Holness added.
He noted that the students acted as good Samaritans and their deeds must be acknowledged, praised and encouraged.
“Jaheim’s survival today could be tied to the actions of these young men. In acknowledging it, we also give tokens that they can have to [recall] this moment and to enlist them as Ambassadors for Good and Ambassadors of Positive Behaviour,” the prime minister added.
In response, Garry said he was grateful to meet the prime minister, adding that the gift of a laptop is one he will always remember.
Khari also expressed gratitude for the laptop presented to him, noting that he will be giving his used device to his sister.
Minister of Education and Youth, Fayval Williams, who shared that she has visited the hospitalised student several times, commended the Ministry of Health and Wellness for the swift action taken and the quality of care being provided.
“Up to Sunday afternoon, we were there (at hospital) with his mother, uncle, his aunt, his brother and other relatives, ” she said, noting that when she last saw Jaheim, he was able to sit up in a chair.
“He indicated that he was feeling well and that, most importantly, he had already forgiven the other student who caused him to be in the hospital,” Williams said.
Meanwhile, Board Chairman, Cetany Holness praised the students for their actions.
“No vehicle was available at the time [of the incident] and they took him up in their hands and took him to the doctor. As chairman of the institution, I commend them highly for what they have done,” Holness said.