Student makes knife threat

A Year 6 student at East End Primary School was suspended Wednesday after officials said he threatened a five-year-old boy with a pocket knife.

The Ministry of Education reported that the incident happened off school grounds after classes let out Tuesday. A Ministry press release said the school wasn’t notified of the incident until Wednesday morning.

Veronica Cole, the mother of the five-year-old who attends grade 1 at East End, said school administrators were completely unaware of what happened until she brought the matter to their attention.

Ms Cole said the incident occurred Tuesday when the Year 6 student approached her eight-year-old nephew who also goes to East End Primary.

‘My nephew said the student approached him and asked him if he had any food,’ Ms Cole said. ‘And he (her nephew) told him (the student) ‘no.’ Afterwards…he grabbed my nephew and my son pushed him off. He (the student) grabbed after my son and put the knife to his throat, and said ‘you want me cut you,’ or ‘you want me cut your throat?”

‘My son could’ve died that day.’

The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service and Children and Family Services were both notified shortly after the incident was reported Wednesday.

According to the Ministry, a police officer who investigated the matter spoke to the Year 6 student about the dangers and consequences of his action and issued a warning to the boy.

The school is also considering additional security measures, and is working with Children and Family Services to provide any additional supervision needs for the student.

An educational psychologist and counsellor was scheduled to visit the primary school on Thursday.

Ms Cole said the boy should be expelled.

‘This child needs help bad, but he needs to be out of that school,’ she said. ‘I’ve lived in East End 28 years and I don’t feel that school is safe anymore.’

The Ministry of Education said it was satisfied that the school acted responsibly in responding to the Tuesday incident

During a lengthy interview with the Caymanian Compass, Ms Cole also made allegations of several other incidents she said have recently occurred at East End Primary.

Ministry spokesman Louis Payne said Ms Cole had left him a voice mail message, which appeared to be about some of the other incidents at the school. However, Mr. Payne said he wasn’t immediately able to get in touch with her.

Mr. Payne said none of the other incidents Ms Cole spoke about had been reported to the Ministry. However, he said a team was dispatched Thursday to look into the situation at East End Primary.

‘This is a matter of urgency, and we are investigating it,’ Mr. Payne said.

Calls to the principal of East End Primary School had not been returned by press time.