Conflicting accounts of a violent disturbance at the overcrowded Clement Howell High School in Provo last Thursday, when a gang of young thugs carrying weapons jumped a fence and entered the school, have led Education Minister Akierra Missick to downplay the efforts by opposition members to assist in the situation.
The incident resulted in minor injuries to one student and the traumatization of many of the students who witnessed the violent event. Police were called and arrests made as school officials brought the situation under control.
While school authorities were able to deal with the situation, it has now been learned that disturbances of this type are common at the only public high school on the most populated island of the TCI.
Clement Howell High School was designed to accommodate 350 students and now has approximately 1,000 enrolled.
In a subsequent television interview, Missick described the action taken by school officials in response to the incident, at the same time apparently trying to take credit for the response.
However, according to accounts of the event, first on the scene were opposition leader Sharlene Cartwright Robinson, deputy house speaker Josephine Connolly and member of parliament Delroy Williams, all member of the opposition Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM).
At the same time, another PDM member of parliament Goldray Ewing went to the police station to get an official report of the situation from the Royal Turks and Caicos Police Force.
Cartwright Robinson was interviewed on local television while at the school and then left to issue a press release on the situation. According to the press release, Missick arrived at the school as the PDM members departed but did not appear on television, apparently arriving after the cameras had left.
The following day, Friday, Missick revisited the same issues at the school and also appeared on television. At the end of her interview, she mentioned she was doing her job and was not trying to earn “brownie points” – an apparent snipe at the PDM opposition members efforts to assist in her absence.
In a separate television appearance, Premier Rufus Ewing claimed that while in London he asked officials there to provide better security for this and other schools as a result of the incident. However, Ewing was already in transit returning home from the UK when the incident occurred.
Meanwhile, Cartwright Robinson has called for police protection and enhanced security measures at the school, with a zero tolerance policy for disturbances and discipline issues.
Concerned Student: Lets be frank here in order to get some facts straight.The media obtain most of its information via "hearsay"
in the case of this situation, the news reporters were not even on the scene when it happen not to mention they arrived at the school at least 30minutes after the incident.As a eye witness you should take it from me.The incident was sparked by a fight between two boys where one boy received nasty facial injuries, this eventually became a gang fight.A defeated gang member jumped the school's fence to call "backup" who came to the school in a white Victoria.These thugs came out the car with weapons and jumped the school gate reinforced by security and went on a failed search attempt for the opposing gang members (who fled for their lives) so they left the school,30minutes later the news reporters arrived on the school compound and interviewed the school principal as school dismissed who lied on national television about being in a meeting when the incident happen but he was really onlooking when the thugs jumped the school gate and ran into the staff room where he hid in his office.End of story.
When Clement Howell High School was established about 25 years ago it was built to accommodate around 350 students but as time went by new buildings were built to accommodate more students currently Clement Howell has 12 buildings to share 1000 students among and 5 of these buildings are two story buildings. In such a large school where so many differences are in one place conflict is also unavoidable.