Despite the increased security at Bocage Secondary School in Castries, the school’s principal Marie Malaykhan said she is ”disturbed” at the latest violent incident in which one of the school’s security guards was severely beaten by thieves who broke into her office.
In an interview with reporters, Malaykhan said she has received reports that the security guard is in critical condition in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of Victoria Hospital but unable to comment further on his condition.
The principal told St. Lucia News Online (SNO) that she has also received reports that one of the alleged perpetrators was shot by the police and is also in critical condition at hospital.
This is not the first time the school has been broken into, according to the school’s top official.
She said the first major incident took place a few years ago in which thieves burglarized the offices of the principal and vice principal, and the laboratory, stealing computers and other items.
As a result of that incident, Malaykhan said the school, with the help of the Ministry of Education, beefed up security at the school, hiring a second security guard to serve at nights, and putting in place new doors and reinforced steel burglar bars, among other measures.
“Honestly, I am very disturbed because as I said we are trying to put things in place, and every time we put things in place, we have some kind of crime and violence,” she said, while calling on the community to assist in donating new computers to the school.
The school was closed today because of the incident.
Malaykhan said she visited the school at about 6:00 this morning after receiving a call that her office was burglarized. On arrival, she was “shocked” to see the state of her office: a broken door, two computers missing, and the office ransacked. She is not yet able to say if other items are missing.
She told reporters that she was the last staff member to leave the school yesterday and she ensured the doors were securely locked.
When SNO asked her about the second security guard who would’ve been on duty at the time, she said is not sure about the details or what happened to him, but pointed out that the security guards are usually stationed at different locations on the school compound in the night. She said this strategy is beneficial because one of the security guards would be able to alert police quickly in the event the other security guard is distressed.
Meanwhile, teachers at the school told SNO that the school was burglarised at least twice before this incident. In one of the incidents, a teacher disclosed that the thieves beat and tied up the security guard/s using rope from the flag pole.
St. Lucia News Online will provide more information as soon as it becomes available.