Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 15th 2014 Contents A8
June 15, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
Primary school pupil Rehanna
Briggs had a bright and promising
future, but it all came to an abrupt
end on Friday evening when she
was found dangling from a clothes
line at her Williamsville, home.
In what could only be described
as a tragic accident, the 11-year-old
girl, who was last seen playing with
her niece at their home in Dyer Vil-
lage, was found with clothes entan-
gled around her neck and hanging
from the clothes line.
Yesterday, when the SG Guardian
visited Rehanna s home, the house
was locked. According to relatives,
Rehanna s mother Angela, who suf-
fers from high blood pressure, had
to be sedated after her daughter s
death. She is currently warded at
Rehanna s cousin Wanda Camp-
bell, who lives next door, said the
family was still in shock and were
in the process of making funeral
Police reports stated that Rehanna
playing when the child s mother
Laura took her for a bath around
The woman returned at 6 pm and
found Rehanna hanging from the
With tears rolling down her
cheeks, Campbell said she was still
in a state of disbelief that the child,
who was the youngest of her sib-
lings, was dead.
"I wish I did not see. You know
you read about things with children,
you hear about it, but it hit home
now. We have no more Rehanna,"
She explained that on Friday
evening around 6 pm, Rehanna was
playing with her niece at her home,
a concrete structure which is under
construction, when the child s
mother came and took her to bathe.
Rehanna s mother was not at home
at the time.
Rehanna, Campbell said, was left
alone for a "split second." She said
the sister-in-law returned to the
house to get ice and juice when she
found Rehanna s lifeless body.
"It happened so fast. I just hear
her sister-in-law scream out
Wanda, Wanda I think Rehanna
break her neck. I scream and run
out saying, no, no. They start
pumping her (performing CPR) and
give her air, but for nothing she
wouldn t move, wouldn t breathe,"
she sobbed as she wiped away tears.
She said relatives continued their
frantic attempts to resuscitate
Rehanna until the ambulance
"When they hook up the machine
to she, she was already flatline. There
was no lines going up and down.
The lines were flat on the (heart
monitor) machine," she said.
Rehanna was taken to the Princes
Town District Hospital where she
was pronounced dead.
Campbell said Rehanna was the
baby of her family and "she was
always a jolly, happy child. She was
always smiling. I cannot believe she
is not here anymore."
Rehanna s aunt Jacqueline said
Rehanna loved to dance, and she
believes the girl was dancing and
playing with the clothes on the line
when she became entangled.
Campbell said the girl loved to
run and was a "tomboy."
She said she has two sons and
always keeps an eye on them.
"The games these children does
play, these stunts. You always have
to keep an eye. My two sons does
play, too. People say I overprotective,
but I does want to see them in front
my eyes," she said.
The Standard Four pupil of Hard-
bargain Government Primary School
was expected to sit SEA next year.
An autopsy is expected to be per-
PC Ballantyne of the Princes Town
CID is continuing investigations.
Tertiary Education and Skills
Training minister Fazal Karim has
struck down a proposal by the Uni-
versity of the West Indies (UWI),
St Augustine, campus to institute
a $500 Student Amenity Fee (SAF)
and a six-per cent increase on hall
of residence fee for the 2014-2015
Also objecting to the SAF fee was
president of the UWI Guild of Stu-
dents Matthew Peters.
On Friday, Karim confirmed the
SAF fee and the increase in hall of
residence fee were raised by principal
Prof Clement Sankat as he delivered
a report at a Finance and General
Purposes Committee (FGPC) meet-
ing held at Cavehill campus, Bar-
bados, on May 29, which he and
Sankat, Karim said, proposed SAF
and the increase in hall of residence
fees, which he wanted to implement
"I intervened explaining that the
imposition of an amenity fee will
place an additional burden on the
students ability to support them-
selves at the university, since no such
agreement or authorisation was given
by the Government.
"So to charge the students for
those things would have been a dou-
ble fee, as it were. When I intervened
I indicated that this was new to me.
It had not been brought to my atten-
tion formally or informally, and
therefore I was not in a position to
contribute substantially to this dis-
He said the burden on students
is lessened when sufficient notice
and preparations are given.
The SAF fee relates to the service
of information and communication
technology, shuttle and sport, Karima
Karim said he recommended to
UWI s vice-chancellor Nigel E Harris
that both matters be deferred to the
next FGPC meeting in October, "to
have more clarity to this issue."
However, Karim said, he would
also seek the guidance of Cabinet
on the matter.
He explained that UWI receives
a VAT remission on purchases of
vehicles used for the university s
The proposal follows newspaper
reports that The University Council
of (UWI) had approved, in April, a
small percentage increase in tuition
fees for its Mona and Open cam-
puses for the upcoming 2014-15 aca-
The Jamaica Gleaner recently
reported that fees for UWI Open
Campus have gone up by 20 per
On Friday, Peters said "I was not
in support of having this amenity
fee and neither was the minister,
who was present."
Peters said students already pay
a list of compulsory fees and if this
proposal is implemented, it would
create an additional burden on their
The compulsory fee includes,
guild, identification, caution money,
group health plan and personal acci-
The guild, Peters said, was notified
by Sankat on both fees prior to the
"However, we were not in agree-
ment of the amenity fee. The figure
is way too high. This came as a shock
to us. We are not standing for it.
The student population agreed that
we should not support the fee
because there was no consultation
with the student body. We found it
Peters said the students want the
SAF fee scrapped, while they were
willing to work with UWI on the
hall of residence fee, once proper
and adequate facilities are provided
He said the students pay for serv-
ices which they sometimes do not
"There is no guarantee that we
will get back the services we need,
once we pay this new fee."
Asked if the guild will support the
SAF fee for 2015, Peters said, this
decision has to be made with admin-
istration and "getting feedback."
On Thursday, questions forwarded
to Sankat s e-mail address came back
with a response which stated that
the campus principal was out of the
country attending meetings.
"As such, there will be a delay in
receiving responses," the e-mail stat-
Family traumatised as...
Karim shuts down UWI's new fee proposals
Girl, 11, found
The house located in Dyer Village,
Hardbargain, Williamsville, where
Rehanna Briggs died in a freak accident
on Friday. PHOTO: KRISTIAN DE SILVA
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