Student excluded over school assault

Confusion over car vandalism

Mistaken identity? Caymanian Paul Lewis’s car was vandalized and the phrase ‘go home’ written across it.

A Clifton Hunter High School student alleged to have assaulted a teacher has been excluded from the school while police continue to investigate the incident.

The student was seen in a video repeatedly shoving the teacher on the school grounds before a security guard intervenes.

Police confirmed they were investigating the incident, which took place last Tuesday, and said they were also looking into a separate allegation that the same teacher’s car had been vandalized.

Mistaken identity? Caymanian Paul Lewis’s car was vandalized and the phrase ‘go home’ written across it.
Mistaken identity? Caymanian Paul Lewis’s car was vandalized and the phrase ‘go home’ written across it.

However, a photograph of a car with its tires slashed and daubed with the graffiti “Go home,” that circulated this week on the Internet and initially linked to the incident, does not belong to the teacher in question.

The car’s owner, Paul Lewis, a 22-year-old Caymanian, said he was mystified as to why anyone would target his vehicle. He said he assumed it was a case of mistaken identity.

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Mr. Lewis, who works in a bank, said he woke at 5 a.m. Monday to find the windows smashed, the tires slashed and the strange graffiti scrawled across the white Toyota.

“The first thing I thought is, they must have mixed me up for somebody else. I was born in Cayman and I lived here my whole life. I don’t know where they want me to go, but I am home right now,” he said.

Mr. Lewis said his insurance does not cover the damage and he is having to borrow a vehicle to get to work.

He said he had no idea why his car was targeted, but after seeing the reports about the teacher, he believes it is possible his vehicle was mistaken for the teacher’s.

Police confirmed they had received a report of a car being vandalized from the same individual assaulted at school but could not confirm details by press time.

Education officials said they had responded promptly to the reports of a staff member being assaulted.

In a statement late Tuesday, the Ministry of Education indicated the student had been excluded from school following the collection of statements from both parties as well as witnesses.

The boy’s guardians were informed, as well as the Department of Child and Family Services, and school assemblies were conducted to reinforce expectations among students.

Staff were also briefed to reassure them of the ministry’s response, the statement added.

“At this time the matter is now in the hands of the RCIPS who will address the relevant issues,” the ministry said in the statement.

“The Ministry of Education and Department of Education Services are always concerned when a student or staff member is subjected to threatening or violent behavior, and view such incidents very seriously,” the statement added.

The ministry said the incident was “isolated” and it was working with students and staff to prevent such occurrences in future.

It said recent measures taken included introduction of a Behavior Support Service in 2015 and designing a new framework for behavior intervention and support.

The statement continued, “The Ministry of Education/DES has also developed a training package focussing on risk assessment, de-escalation and the management of serious incidents. Over the past two years, an extensive pilot training has been carried out with a number of schools and all school staff are anticipated to receive this training.”

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  1. I really feel for this young man. Working hard to make his way and now this expensive issue. I wish I knew what bank he works for or if they have an account you could make a donation towards repair costs. When I was 22, this would have been crushing to me.