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January 31, 2013
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NO SPELL ON HIGH SCHOOL - Holmwood VP dismisses residents' claims
Crystal Harrison, Staff Reporter

One of the vice-principals of the Holmwood Technical High School in Manchester has sought to dispel the rumour that the school is under a spell that has been resulting in annual motor vehicle accidents either injuring or killing students.

THE STAR understands that since the 1980s, students from the school have either died or have been injured in motor vehicle accidents during the first quarter of the year.

Less than two weeks ago, 18 Holmwood students were hospitalised after the minibus in which they were travelling from Mandeville to Christiana overturned at the foot of Shooter's Hill in the parish.

In 2011 a bus loaded with Holmwood students crashed and overturned on the Bryce Hill road, in the parish leaving four people, including three Holmwood girls dead.

However, vice-principal Jean James told THE STAR yesterday that there is no truth to the rumour, as the problem is that students are being transported to school by reckless drivers.

"There is no spell, this is just one of the worse routes in terms of transportation, and these students love to take the music buses that are normally overloaded," James told THE STAR.

"There is nothing spiriual about these accidents, the drivers don't consider the safety of the students. These drivers apparently only think about money. The drivers need to be monitored and supervised by the police, as these students travel in groups and they rather take the buses than to take the taxis," James said.

The vice-principal said the school in the past has tried to address the transportation problem by arranging alternative transportation for the students, however, James said that the majority of the students were not interested.

James said that the students are constantly reminded about their transportation options and the school is planning to get two new buses.

Meanwhile, a resident from the parish, who only identified herself as Anna-Lisa, said, "Anytime it comes to Champs time, there is almost always an accident. The school mainly buy girl students because they normally lose dem in accidents, and so di school have to replace dem. I believe that the school join lodge because I dont understand why is it that Holmwood students alone a meet inna accidents almost every year," the resident said.

"I think there is a spell on the school and others feel di same way. Some people even say that the school join lodge, but I think something is definitely wrong because why is it that Holmwood School is having almost di same kind of accidents every year. You don't hear this about Christiana or Manchester High schools," Devonese, another resident, said.

Pastor of the God's Way Assembly Ministries in Kingston, Bishop Purcell Jackson, when asked about his opinion on the matter, said that he could not speak definitively on the issue as he has not looked into the incidents.

However, the clergyman said that for individuals who are involved in lodge, there is a price attached to it.

"I cannot speak definitively to the Holmwood accidents because it's not something that I have looked into, but I do know that a lot of people in high positions are involved in it and God is against it. Normally, when someone is involved in lodge there is a price tag attached to it," Bishop Jackson said yesterday.

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