Mother of teen beaten for stepping on schoolmate’s shoes wants justice

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The mother of 14-year-old Tyrique Benfield, a student of South Ruimveldt Secondary School (SRSS), who was beaten by his peer’s brother for stepping on her shoes is calling on the Education Ministry, the Human Services and Social Security Ministry, and the Guyana Police Force (GPF) to investigate the matter.

The frustrated woman, Tandaseia Holligan Desir, claimed that on October 14, 2022, her son was physically assaulted by an adult following an incident that occurred at his school and involved a female student.

It was reported that the boy had allegedly stepped on one of his schoolmate’s feet and failed to apologise. As a result, the young lady threatened to have her older brother intervene in the matter to have a resolution.

“Tyrique stepped on the young lady’s foot without apologising, his classmate stated that she will bring her brother to him, my son said that he didn’t take her seriously, so he proceeded to go back to his seat and continue his assignment.”

She said the following day after school was dismissed, her son and his two friends were walking out of the school’s compound when the female classmate and a man whom she claimed to be her brother approached them.

“When my son saw him, he stated that the young lady came in between him and his friends in order to separate them from each other and she pointed him out to the big man who was with her. My son proceeded to say ‘uncle let me explain uncle, let me tell you exactly what happen’, but the man did not want to hear what my son had to say so he started punching him in his face which cause him to bleed through his nose and have a swollen face,” she explained.

The woman also noted that even though plans were made by the Ministry of Education’s Welfare Department to have the girl transferred to another school and have her son offered counselling, it was not acted upon.

She related that following the incident, the welfare officer in charge of the matter never made contact with her to provide any updates.

“This is unacceptable…no one should be beating on another person’s child like this…this man who did this to my son needs to be arrested for assaulting a minor,” she said.

The mother said that since the incident, her son is still having difficulty seeing from his left eye. She said that the matter seems to have been swept under the carpet, and she is not going to allow such to happen.

Meanwhile, when this publication contacted an official of the welfare department, she refused to divulge any information. Attempts to get a comment from Chief Education Officer Dr Marcell Hutson and other officials from the Ministry proved futile.