JUNCTION, St Elizabeth - Three of four schoolboys who moved swiftly on foot with injured schoolmate Jaheim Colman, 14, to a medical facility last week received a hero's welcome here on Monday.
The BB Coke High School boys were applauded by their peers, teachers and school administrators during devotion even as the institution's acting principal, Liteasha Gallimore, said the sequence of events last Thursday should not have happened.
The group of boys lifted the injured child and walked 530 metres from the school through the busy town of Junction to a doctor's office last Thursday after he was beaten unconscious by a grade 11 student for stepping on his Clarks shoe.
The students hailed for their good deeds are Khari Green, 13; Gary Bartley, 16; Daejaun Gordon, 16; and Dejaun Powell, 14.
Gallimore said "it was a very unfortunate incident that occurred on the school's campus".
She added that the school's security personnel have come under scrutiny."The correct protocols would have been to inform us so that we could have done our part in taking the student to the hospital, based on the protocols that are in place. In some circumstances [others] would panic, but what they [students] did as a first response was to get help for Jaheim," Gallimore said, as she commended the action of the boys.
When asked if the school will be rewarding the students for their heroism, Gallimore said several discussions are ongoing.
"We will be having those discussions. A lot of partners are reaching out to us and as a school that is something we are discussing. We met with one such student on Friday and we are arranging to meet with the others as well as their parents and we will be having further discussion as to what we will be doing for them," she said.
The injured student, meanwhile, is said to be responding well to treatment at hospital.
"We know that Jaheim is doing well. He is recovering. He did the [brain] scans that were requested and he is recuperating as we speak. I spoke with him yesterday (Sunday) on video call. He was up and talking to us and I am very happy for that," said Gallimore.
When asked about the school's plans to deal with security protocols, Gallimore pointed out that a board meeting was scheduled for Monday.
Said the acting principal: "At this time we want to encourage our students to be proactive. We want to encourage you to be your brother's keeper. We want to encourage you to look out for each other and also to encourage you to stand together in the midst of challenges."
The school, she added, will continue to give Jaheim and his parents the full support that is needed.