Child beaten for hugging cousin at school

October 26, 2016

The parents of an 11-year-old student want action to be taken against a teacher who allegedly used a leather strap to beat their daughter because she hugged a male student.

The child, who attends the Greenwich All-Age School in Kingston, is said to be afraid of attending school since the beating, which her mother said left her in pain and caused sections of her skin to be bruised and swollen.

Keisha Flannigan, the child's mother, told THE STAR that her daughter 's skin was "black and blue" and her hands were swollen following the beating. She said the 11-year-old had to be taken to the Bustamante Hospital for Children because of the injuries received.

THE STAR was told that a report was made at the Hunts Bay Police Station and lawmen there are now conducting an investigation.

"I showed the police at Hunts Bay her injury and dem say the teacher must come in to dem, but the teacher did leave the school already," Flannigan told THE STAR.

The child's father, Paul Copeland, is equally displeased about the incident.

"The teacher nuh ask no question, she just beat up the child. She hug her cousin because dem long fi see each other after the storm," Copeland said.

Brian Guscott, principal of Greenwich All-Age School, told THE STAR that he is aware of the incident.

"The teacher is still actively carrying out her function. We did our investigation and thought it was resolved. I am shocked that you are now contacting me about it," he told THE STAR yesterday.

Guscott also said that he is aware that the teacher in question visited a police station as a result of the beating, but promised that he not going to say much more.

There is clearly no policy on corporal punishment in school, but members of the Government have made it clear that they are in favour of a ban.

"We must get rid of violence, including against children as a means of correction, and there is no better place to start than in our schools," Kamina Johnson Smith said last year.

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