Irate parent wants answers
NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The irate parent of an 11th grade student at the Anatol Rodgers High School is calling for the removal of the school’s principal after he allegedly slapped her daughter following an altercation with other students.
The alleged slapping incident happened on Nov. 6, but the mother said since then, there has been no resolve.
According to Thompson, who spoke to Eyewitness News on the weekend, her daughter was allegedly being bullied by a group of girls at the school since she was in 10th grade.
Thompson said when her daughter moved on to grade 11, the alleged bullying continued and involved a group of eight girls.
These girls, the mother claimed, would surround her child on the field, corner her in the bathroom and they would also call her names.
On Nov. 6, the mother claimed that a group of boys had to intervene so as to prevent the eight girls from allegedly attacking her daughter, but the alleged bullying did not stop there.
“She went into her Math class where two of [the eight] girls were in the class at the time, and the other six were in other classrooms.
“The lady [one of the two girls] said something to her at the time and I think it died down, but when she [the daughter] was sitting down, the young lady assaulted her from the back. She pulled her hair and slammed her down on the ground,” the parent claimed.
“It [the fight] was broken up between other students and the teachers. After that she was escorted downstairs into the main office where she saw the girl that was attacking her from grade 10…who had also assaulted her in the class [earlier that day] and she charged back after the girl.
“Now, according to my daughter, after that the principal of Anatol Rodgers came out of the office and he slapped my daughter,” the parent alleged.
“His entire fingerprint was over her face and she had a cut in her upper lip where her teeth probably had hooked into her lip or hit it.
“When I went to pick her up and I walked on the outside and the sun hit her face I was able to see a better view of it. That is when I saw his fingerprints all over my daughter’s face,” the irate parent alleged.
Since the Nov. 6 incident, Thompson said she and her husband met with the principal in his office to speak about the alleged slapping incident but the meeting was fruitless and she was also disappointed with the principal’s attitude.
“We asked him why he slapped her and he said, ‘if you saw the way she was carrying on’ but we told him that she is a girl student,” Thompson claimed.
The parent said after meeting with the principal, she and her husband left the school’s campus and reported the matter to the Ministry of Education.
While at the Ministry, Thompson said she spoke with two education officials who expressed that they understood how she was feeling but she was still not pleased with their response.
“Afterwards I went to the police station to report the matter on Wednesday Nov. 7, and from there we were instructed to go to the hospital where she saw the doctor and she was given medication for the inflammation of her face,” Thompson said.
“That next day, Nov. 8, I reached out to [Education] Minister Jeff Lloyd and I informed him of what had happened but he informed me that he would have to wait for the police report so I waited for that.
“I then went to the police station on Nov. 9 to do a follow-up but there was nothing from them and it was a turn around with that whole situation.”
Thompson said a week after the incident she was summoned by guidance counsellors at the school and informed that her daughter would be placed on a two-day suspension as a result of the Nov. 6 fight.
Thompson said despite meeting with the principal, contacting education officials, and reporting the matter to the police, she is fed up with the slowness of all parties to respond and address the alleged slapping incident.
At this point, Thompson said she only wants justice for her daughter.
“If I had attacked back or my husband had attacked back, we would have been locked up on the spot,” Thompson said. “And here it is … because I obeyed the law, I have to be running behind everyone just to get justice.”
Thompson added that she truly wants the principal to resign as a result of the alleged incident.
Eyewitness News made attempts to reach the principal at Anatol Rodgers for comment on Friday but was told that he is presently on vacation.
Education Minister Jeff Lloyd confirmed that he was aware of the alleged slapping incident but the matter has since been reported to the police.
He stated, however, that the ministry has conducted an investigation of their own and he will wait on a report from the police and the ministry before making any further comment.