Tears flow at Kemeisha's funeral - 8-y-o finally laid to rest

May 29, 2016
@Normal:A picture of Kemeisha Butler on her casket.
Jermaine Barnaby/Freelance Photographer Stephen Butler, father of eight-year-old Kemeisha Butler is overcome with grief and has to be consolded by family friend Merline Barrett.
Jermaine Barnaby/Freelance Photographer The casket with the body of Kemeisha Butler
Jermaine Barnaby/Freelance Photographer Neisha Butler, mother of eight-year-old Kemeisha Butler is consoled by a friend
File Mourners look on as mother, Neisha Butler (left); father, Stephen Butler (second right) and cousin, Nard Green, look on the body of eight-year-old Kemeisha Butler at her funeral service at the Hellshire Seventh Day Adventist Church in Portmore, St Cathrine, in May.

Intelligent, mannersable, alert, star girl were some of the words used to describe eight-year-old Kemeisha Butler during her funeral inside the Hellshire Park Seventh-day Adventist Church in Portmore, St Catherine, yesterday.

Since THE STAR broke the story on young Kemeisha's death and her poor family, there have been controversies surrounding what lead to her death, the release of her body from one funeral home, the findings of an autopsy, and subsequent organs removed from her body.

Tears flowed yesterday as a handful of mourners came out in support of the bereaved family and to say their final goodbye. But the small gathering was seemingly distracted by the absence of representatives from her former school, Port Henderson Primary.

Members of the gathering, consisting mainly of community members, the church choir and funeral home workers openly asked why no one from Kemeisha's school was on hand.

A woman said: "This nuh look good... Not even three children to do an item."

Kemeisha's father, Stephen Butler, revealed the school was duly informed about the proceedings. "I went there with my manners and respect and told them that the funeral is today," Butler said.

Kemeisha died on March 9 at the Bustamante Hospital for Children, a few days after she was punished at school by her physical education teacher.

Her funeral was used as a platform to once again remind the public of what she went through before she passed.

Her mother, Neisha Butler, though not listed on the programme, took to the platform and sang Meet Me By The River.

According to reports, an autopsy performed on Kemeisha revealed she had a brain tumour, however, her parents lament that prior to the punishment administered she had a clean medical history.

The Butlers say they are yet to see an official autopsy report.

Director of Safety and Security at the Ministry of Education, Assistant Superintendent Coleridge Minto, yesterday told the congregation that the investigation into Kemeisha's death is ongoing.

"The ministry is conducting a thorough investigation into the death of this child. Allow due process to take its course," he said.

The senior education officer for region six, Vivette Stewart, was also at the service and said they have been offering support and will continue to support Kemeisha's family.

Following the church service Kemeisha was laid to rest at Meadowrest Memorial Garden in St Catherine.

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