The horrific beating of the 14 year old BB Coke High School student, for allegedly stepping on another students Clarks shoes, has culminated in questions being asked of the high school administration & security, regarding their policies & procedures in place, for emergencies such as the case of Jaheim Colman. With videos circulating on social media, showcasing fellow students carrying Jaheim on the main road to seek medical care, the questions asked may be justifiable.
According to a Jamaica Observer article| September 30, 2023 “the school’s security personnel didn’t report the incident to school administrators…efforts to contact school officials on Thursday (September 28, 2023) between herself (Jaheim’s aunt), and a woman she identified as a teacher, led to a distasteful conversation…Chairman of the school’s board Cetany Holness expressed shock at the incident…’we are in disbelief at this time because we couldn’t believe that an 11th grade student could have ill-treated a grade nine student to that magnitude to the extent where the student was knocked out completely,’ he said.
He said the aggressor is a known ‘troublemaker’.”
As I take this all in, I’m led to ask the following questions:
- Why didn’t the security personnel report the incident to the school administrators?
- Why was it difficult for the family members of Jaheim to get in contact with the school? And why when they eventually got in touch, they were met with a degree of hostility?
- Why is the school chairman in shock that an 11th grade student could’ve ill-treated a fellow student (younger or same age), to such a degree where the student would be knocked out completely? Especially if the student (attacker) is a known aggressor?
Real talk, this rubs in as negligence-on the part of the security personnel & Mr Holness statement (at the least).
School Violence Is Known In Jamaica
Since the Covid-19 pandemic there has been media-shared cases of ‘extreme violence’ in schools, and/or among high school students in Jamaica:
- The stabbing & death of Kingston Technical High student, Michion Campbell, 2022.
- The attack & murder of Papine High student, Kenuth Williams, 2022.
- The beating of Denham Town High Student in classroom, February, 2023.
- The stabbing of a Cumberland High student, June, 2023.
It should be fair to conclude that the school environment (no matter the location & academic performance), throughout Jamaica, is building a reputation with the potential of being violent.
Therefore, the need exists for school administrators of all schools, to have emergency policies & procedures in place (at the very least), to respond faster to medical emergencies arising as a result of violent encounters.
Being informed of an incident, or acting in the aftermath of an incident, 30 minutes after, is way too long. Serious long-lasting damage on the attacked can be the outcome-especially if it involves head injuries.
Gone are the days whereby school students enroll in extra curricular classes or clubs such as Cadet & Martial Arts on an optional basis.
The enrollment in these clubs/classes in my opinion, should be mandatory, to help the students better manage their internal conflicts; as well as better manage their emotions when involved in interpersonal encounters. Good job to Jaheim Colman fellow students, for actively taking Jaheim to seek medical care.
About The Author
Oshane Bryant: BSc Geology, Geography Minor; ACE CPT since 2012; Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) Accelerator Graduate-2018 cohort; Licensed KUKIBO Martial Arts & Self Defense, Senior Instructor; OB Fitness Founder & Managing Director.