Prime Minister Andrew Holness (third right) with BB High School students (from left) Daejaun Gordon, Khari Green, Dejaun Powell, Gary Bartley and Leon Barnes, as they display citations presented to them at the Office of the Prime Minister, Tuesday for helping an injured school mate to a doctor last week. (Photo: Garfield Robinson)

PRIME Minister Andrew Holness says the heroic act by a group of BB Coke High School students who swiftly moved on foot to get injured schoolmate Jaheim Colman, 14, to a medical facility last week, reaffirms that there is still good at the core of society.

Holness, in presenting citations to the five boys — Khari Green, 13; Gary Bartley, 16; Daejaun Gordon; Dejaun Powell, 14, and Leon Barnes — hailed them for rescuing Colman.

The group of boys lifted the injured child and walked 530 metres from the school through the busy town of Junction in St Elizabeth to a doctor's office last Thursday after he was beaten unconscious by a grade 11 student for stepping on his Clarks shoe.

"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," Holness said on Tuesday at Jamaica House.

He said the boys, having acted in the interest of their schoolmate, gives hope in the face of social ills.

"The level of social dissonance that we see 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. What we saw being displayed is a reaffirmation that the core of our society is still good and that there are people, young people in our society, who will act in the interest of their fellowmen," said Holness.

He, however, pointed to the worrying trend of people capturing images and videos of those in need of help rather than giving assistance.

"The truth is that in today's world we see too often persons who are more inclined to reach for their cellphone to take a picture or to record an incident rather than to reach out in a positive way to help someone in distress," he said.

"It puts me in the mind of the parable of the Good Samaritan, because that would be the very accurate description of these five young men from BB Coke… They acted as good Samaritans," he added.

Holness pointed out that people should offer to help others without consideration of being rewarded.

"And when we see this as we are entering into the celebration of our heroes in this month. When we see this we must acknowledge it, we must praise it, particularly in our young men, we must encourage it. I am not here proposing to say reward, because this must be done without any contemplation of a reward, but that it has happened and that we are grateful," he said.

"Jaheim's survival today could be tied to the actions of these young men, and in acknowledging it we give tokens that they can have to recall this moment and to enlist them as ambassadors for good and ambassadors of positive behaviour," he added.

The boys received laptops along with the citations for their exemplary and selfless action. They expressed appreciation for being recognised. Following the presentation, the boys visited Colman at the University Hospital of the West Indies where he is recuperating well.

BY KASEY WILLIAMS Observer staff reporter

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