Minister of Education and Youth, Fayval Williams, has described as “reprehensible” last Friday’s machete attack on the principal of Retirement Primary School in St Elizabeth, Ann-Marie Terelonge, which left the educator nursing head injuries.
Williams said she was also “shocked and horrified” after being informed about the incident.
The minister is also urging school administrators and security personnel to be vigilant and exercise caution when dealing with unauthorised individuals on their campuses.
In a statement Sunday evening, Williams noted that it is alleged that the man entered the premises with a machete in hand and when ordered to leave, refused to do so.
“The principal, who also attempted to get him to leave the premises, was attacked and chopped in the head,” Williams noted further.
“I pray that Principal Terelonge will recover quickly. This attack on a member of the school community is highly distressing. We want our schools to be safe environments for students, teachers and support staff, and this reprehensible attack undermines all the efforts being made to create safe spaces for the school community,” said Williams.
“At the same time, I am urging school staff to exercise caution when confronting unauthorised persons who have entered your campuses. You do not know their state of mind or the extent to which they may be armed. It is better to summon the help of the security forces,” the minister added.
In the meantime, the ministry’s counselling services have been offered to staff and students who were traumatised by the attack.
The principal was hospitalised following the incident while her attacker, who has since claimed that she attacked him first, surrendered to the police who are continuing their investigation into the matter.