(JAMAICA OBSERVER) — Promising Class Three athlete Moesha James has been transferred from Vere Technical to Hydel High, after it was alleged that she was beaten with a “PVC” pipe by a female coach on November 1.
Ann-Marie James, mother of the 13-year-old runner, told the Jamaica Observer that her daughter has suffered bruises to her legs and hands and had to be taken to hospital for X-rays.
According to Mrs James, her daughter said she was feeling sick and she went to the “house mother” for tea. On her return to the field she was told by the physical education teacher, Sashauna Wellington, to leave.
“She went back over to the dorm, then the coach (Wellington) went over there and told her to come on the field. Then she just grabbed her up and start beat her with a piece of ‘PVC’ pipe. She received damage to her hands and both legs; the marks are on her body up to today. I had to even do an X-ray on her hand,” Mrs James explained.
“I went by the school and I spoke to the VP (vice-principal), then she sent me to the dean of discipline and she said she wasn’t aware of it. Anyway, she send call the coach that did it and when she came in the office, she said ‘this is Moesha, you know her, and this is Moesha’s mom. I understand that you hit the child’ and she (Wellington) just jump up and said yes miss, I had to whop up Moesha skin yesterday because she want to go no training, and the girl have potential,” said James.
“Mi seh, mi nearly lose it and the guidance counsellor had to remove her from the office. Even when I went to speak with the other coaches she was still saying she did it and nah hide it,” the mother claimed.
When the Observer contacted Wellington for a comment on the allegation, her response was. “Sir, it is what it is. Whatever you say or they say.”
When asked again if that was her official response, Wellington said: “I have no idea what you talking about. I can’t recall. I don’t know what you talking about. Moesha James is a student where? I don’t know what you talking about. It is what it is, have a good evening.”
When contacted, Vere Technical’s Principal Antoinette Banton-Ellis said she was unaware of the issue.
“I don’t know, I will have to go and check it out and find out. I am not sure about any case in that matter, Sir, so I will have to do an investigation,” said Banton-Ellis.
Mrs James, however, said she is not satisfied with the school’s handling of the matter, and has made a report to the police.
“I took her to the police station and they took a statement from her and gave me a letter to take her to the doctor,” explained the mother.
This was was confirmed by a sergeant at Hayes Police Station in Clarendon.
With her daughter living on the Vere campus, Mrs James decided to remove her from the school and she is now registered at Hydel High.
Mrs James revealed that she visited Vere’s principal to get an official release of her daughter from the school, but not before being given a lecture about how her (principal) daughter was beaten before, and was made a better person.
“I said, Miss, what you will take I won’t take because that is murdering. You can’t lick a child and she ends up with six, seven marks on her body and say that is discipline. Who has the right to discipline a child to run if the child is sick? Teachers don’t even have the right to hit them in the classroom, much less a coach,” said Mrs James, who told the Observer last evening that she plans to take the matter to the Ministry of Education today.