Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 29th 2017 Contents A6 news
guardian.co.tt Wednesday, March 29, 2017
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March 28, 2017
at Santa Rita RC
Parents of students attending
the Santa Rita RC School re-
sumed protest action yesterday
claiming that the troubled child
who has been disrupting clas-
sess and threatening students
had returned to school.
They are now considering legal
action against the Ministry of Ed-
The parents say before the child,
even got to the school building, told
other school children in a taxi that
he was coming to school to "kill
The group, led by the school's
interim Parent Teachers' Associa-
tion (PTA) president Savitri Persad,
burned tyres and blocked the two
entrances to the school around 5.30
am yesterday, preventing teachers
and students from accessing the
The smouldering debris remained
on the roadway until 10 am, when a
backhoe from the Mayaro/Rio Claro
Regional Corporation removed it.
Education Minster Anthony Gar-
cia told Parliament last Friday the
student has been diagnosed with
Oppositional Defiant Disorder
(ODD), a behaviour disorder.
Garcia said the ministry had as-
signed Student Support Services'
officers to the matter and they are
talking with school authorities and
parents to ensure "... this child, who
is crying out for help, gets the at-
In an interview yesterday, parent
Candice Sydney said although this
is the third occasion they have pro-
tested, the parents are yet to get a
direct answer from the Ministry of
"Yesterday this child showed up
without an aide, without any su-
pervision and we are saying that we
want a special place for this child to
be put in --- the ministry has stated
that they are contacting parents, up
until now, we have heard nothing
from them," she said.
Sydney said the boy disrupted
classes by playing steel pan and
drums while other students were
"Over a 100 children are at risk
because of this child, our next step is
to remove our children or take legal
action against the ministry and we
are in the process of consulting a
lawyer," she said.
Woodbrook fire began
in restaurant kitchen
Fire investigators have de-
termined that Sunday's mil-
lion-dollar fire in Woodbrook
began in the kitchen of De Nu
Pub before spreading to the ad-
However, the cause of the fire has
not yet been determined.
Senior fire officials said yester-
day there was no indication to say
whether the blaze had been delib-
erately set or if it was an accidental.
Officers were able to confirm
the location of where the fire had
started, following an interview with
one of the employees from De Nu
Pub who reported he had seen fire
coming from the kitchen area.
Fire officials yesterday urged
people from entering the premises
at the corner of Ariapita Avenue and
French Street, as it was unsafe due
to the amount of damage sustained
as a result of the fire.
Meanwhile, Roderick Ward,
the owner of De Nu Pub, formerly
known as the Mas Camp Pub, does
not believe the fire was deliberately
set. Ward said he suspected it was
an electrical fire.
Speaking yesterday from the
burnt-out site which remains
cordoned off, Ward said he was
only made aware of plans to build
multi-storey building complex at
the site on social media on Monday.
A notice distributed to Wood-
brook residents gave details of a
proposal to erect a seven-storey
structure which would include a
200-vehicle parking facility and
provide a base for the Wyndham
Hotel, the internationally ac-
claimed Hard Rock Cafe, a hotel
restaurant, gym, spa and retail
shops. According to the notice,
the commencement date of work
is May 1.
Plans for the commercial devel-
opment surfaced early on Monday,
after a two-page document detail-
ing the plans was circulated.
The Notification of Intended
Development revealed that Ward
Hotel Ltd, which owns the burnt
structure, had applied to the Envi-
ronmental Management Authority
for a Certificate of Environmental
Clearance (CEC) to undertake a
development set to encompass the
affected site as well as the Ma Pau
Car Park on French Street.
The project also proposed to cre-
ate employment for close to 400
persons and also double the current
operating size of the Ma Pau Casino
at that location.
Association renews call for better tools
'Inmate's murder could
have been prevented'
The Prison Officers Association
says the Minister of National Secu-
rity and the government must take
full responsibility for the death of
prisoner Nicholas Raymond.
Raymond was stabbed to death at
the Maximum Security Prison last
Speaking at a news conference yes-
terday called to address some outstand-
ing issues affecting officers, President
of the Prison Officers Association Ceron
Richards said "the State is largely re-
sponsible for the death of the inmate."
He said had the authorities imple-
mented a number of recommendations
and measures which had been suggested
"we would have been more effective in
preventing the death of the inmate."
Raymond was stabbed several times
by another inmate who used a sharp-
ened instrument to attack him. The
two were going through their exercise
routines when there was an altercation.
First vice president of the association
Andre Roach said a recommendation
had been made by Professor Ramesh
Deosaran for "stab proof vests for prison
officers, but we got just a few, it is not
enough to go around."
He said if that incident had become
"full blown, involving more than one or
two inmates, officers would have been
at a disadvantage because we don't have
Prisons officers, he said, "continue
to monitor the situation because when
these things happen there are reprisals,
so we on the ground trying to mitigate
what is likely to arise."
But he said prison officers are con-
cerned that despite their pleas over the
years and the recommendations to im-
prove their working conditions "officers
are stymied in doing their jobs."
Among the outstanding issues which
need to be addressed, he said, are "the
purchase of stab-proof vests, repairs
and installation of an improved secu-
rity system and the installation of more
He explained that because of "inad-
equate staff and the ground which we
have to cover we are asking for addi-
tional CCTV cameras to be installed for
In addition, he said, concerns raised
by officers last year about their lives be-
ing at risk because of a non-functioning
alarm system have not been addressed.
He said "we still awaiting installation
of a proper alarm system."
Roach said prisons officers feel their
pleas are constantly falling on deaf ears.
"We raise issues and then is like no
one moves post haste to ensure that sys-
tems are implemented. All we want is
for the authorities to stop treating the
service as second class citizens and to
provide us with the tools we need to do
our jobs in the quickest possible time,"
Prisoner Nicholas Raymond
Parents of the Santa Rita R.C during their protest outside the school yesterday. PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH
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