Parents of students attending the St Leonard’s Boys’ School were thrown into a state of panic Monday afternoon as two students were stabbed at the Richmond Gap, St Michael School.
The two 16-year-olds received stab wounds during an altercation during the lunch break, the latest in a troubling rise in knife crimes among school children.
According to Acting Inspector Roland Cobbler, the public relations officer of the Royal Barbados Police Force, the two were involved in a fight with two 15-year old boys.
Police have not released the names of the victims, who were transported to the state owned Queen Elizabeth Hospital by ambulance for treatment. One victim received multiple stab wounds about the body, while the other was stabbed in the jaw. Both were reported to be in stable condition.
Cobbler revealed that a knife and broken glass from a window at the school were used during the incident, which likely started in the communities the boys came from.
Students were summoned to the school auditorium until police and personnel from the Ministry of Education, including Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Education Harry Husbands and Chief Education Officer Karen Best, arrived at the scene.
Scores of worried parents gathered at the school gates, trying desperately to get confirmation that their children were safe.
Up until 1:30 p.m. when the children were eventually let out of school for the day, several parents said they were essentially left in the dark, with only snippets of information from social media to go on.
Monday’s development occurred less than a week after four children were stabbed at Grantley Adams Memorial School, triggering a two-day closure of the learning institution last Thursday and Friday, while the ministry met with teachers to discuss safety.
A week earlier four students from the Daryll Jordan and Frederick Smith secondary schools suffered multiple stab wounds as violence erupted among pupils of the two schools aboard a state-run Transport Board school bus.
Addressing the issue at a press conference held at the Ministry of Education last Friday, Husbands said gangs were infiltrating the island’s schools, and were getting into territorial fights at the encouragement of grown ups.
“What the Ministry of Education has been looking into for sometime, and what came home forcefully to me yesterday, is that there are gang elements in Barbados who are attempting to infiltrate the schools,” Husbands said this morning at a news conference at the Ministry of Education.
Attorney General Adriel Brathwaithe said last week, Government would soon introduce legislation to punish parents for their children’s transgressions. – Barbados TODAY