Nattallie Dawkins Foundation launched
Slain teacher still helping studentsTuesday, May 04, 2021
FOUR PATHS, Clarendon — Even in death educator Nattallie Dawkins is still helping the students to whom she dedicated much of her life. On April 29, a foundation was established in her name at the Four Paths Primary and Junior High School, during a thanksgiving service in her honour. It will provide financial support to students of all ages and grades at the school where she taught.
"This foundation will continue to assist needy students at the school, who Nattallie would have always been assisting, to have a better chance at an education," said principal Rosemarie Logan who hailed Dawkins as a humanitarian who deserved more than a foundation in her name.
"We are imploring persons who are willing to give to this foundation to follow our Facebook page where we will be sharing the account information,” she added, stressing that the funds will go to a worthy cause.
Dawkins was kidnapped from her home in Clarendon in March. On April 8, police found the badly decomposing remains of a female in a shallow grave in Sandy Bay, Clarendon believed to be those of the 44-year-old educator. On April 14, the police announced that two men had been charged with Dawkins' murder and they would soon face the courts to answer to charges of murder, burglary, robbery with aggravation, illegal possession of firearm and ammunition, and unauthorised access to identity information. The men were identified as 20-year-old labourer of Sandy Bay district, Clarendon, Eladio Goulbourne, otherwise called Shortman, and 19-year-old Marlio Headley.
According to principal Logan, students have been badly affected by the tragic loss of their teacher. “[They] understand what is happening and some are dealing with it while others are still in denial and are saddened that their teacher was taken away in such a brutal way. One student said she was afraid to use the restroom at home and that just goes to show how traumatic the circumstances are around how Nattallie's life was taken, because it has impacted not just the staff but the students as a whole,” Logan told OBSERVER ONLINE.
During the foundation launch, president of the Jamaica Teachers Association (JTA) Jasford Gabriel described the loss as one of the lowest moments in the 67-year history of the organisation. “We are saddened by the disrespect that is meted out to our women and the misguided behaviour of so many unattached youth. And although we are saddened, we continue to pray for a better and a brighter day in Jamaica," he said.
Gabriel said Dawkins represented the best of the JTA's ideals and what its members are supposed to represent to students and the wider society. “Nattallie was one that was very passionate about her students' success, very generous and from all indications always went above and beyond the call of duty in seeking to shape the lives of those with whom she came into contact. So she has left a lasting and wonderful legacy that cannot be erased and so I applaud the initiative of the foundation in her honour," he said.
Member of Parliament for Clarendon South West Lothan Cousins said Dawkins should have been alive today doing what she loved. “She should be teaching the next generation of teachers, lawyers and doctors. But instead due to the callous act... by bad actors, she has been taken away from us at a pivotal point in her career. This tragedy must not evade our memory but let us use it to press for action from our elected government officials for a safer society to ensure that we achieve the vision 2030 goals," said the MP, who was elected on an Opposition People's National Party ticket.
He also spoke of Dawkins' generous spirit, speculating that it may have been her willingness to always lend a helping hand that could have led to her demise.
“It is so sad that, having been so trusting, that someone could breach that trust. We have to ensure that we are vigilant and we look out for each other. I also commend the teachers and staff of this institution and others that if they had not insisted we may not have had some closure today,” said Cousins.
Dawkins' colleagues were among those who searched for her and put up a reward for information after she went missing.
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