A concerned parent of a 13-year-old schoolgirl who was reportedly drugged while at school on Friday last is calling for a thorough investigation.
The child was among four girls of the Patentia Secondary School, West Bank of Demerara in Region Three who were hospitalised for hours after they allegedly consumed an illegal drug.
The parent claimed that she was initially told by the school that her daughter consumed a hotdog and fell ill.
“I was at home and I got a phone call saying that my daughter had lunch, a hotdog and something happened to my daughter.
“When I got to the school, my daughter and three other girls were on the floor, totally knocked out,” the parent related.
The parent explained that the incident was very confusing and she questioned why the school did not immediately rush the students to the hospital. The parent said she took her daughter to the hospital.
“I need the ministry to look into this, but I guess Guyana does stuff different and now the headmistress is saying the entire thing should not have ended up on social media,” the parent said.
She alleged that her daughter and the other students were given something to drink by two other students.
“What is the drug? Did they test it?
“We don’t even know what was poured into the drink,” the parent questioned.
The mother said she visited the Wales Police Station and took two officers to the school to investigate the matter.
The parent alleged that the school did not cooperate with the officers even after they found out that the girls were drugged. Her daughter spent six hours at the hospital.
Meanwhile, Head of Public Relations Unit at the Education Ministry, Murtland Haley, told the News Room on Tuesday that the school was informed by the Welfare Officer within the Department of Education to establish measures to avoid a repeat of the incident.
Haley further said that the parents were also advised on how to approach and address the matter with their children.
“Additionally, the Ministry of Education maintains that there is no attempt to prevent a police investigation into the matter. In fact, by policy, the Ministry has to involve the Guyana Police Force in such matters,” Haley said in response to reports of the ministry’s attempt to cover up the matter.
Haley said that the only time that the Welfare Officer prevented any member of the Guyana Police Force from questioning the girls was at the hospital and this was done in keeping with the ministry’s guidelines for the maintenance of order and discipline in schools.
The guideline states that the interrogation must be done in the presence of the parents and headteacher and must be done on the school premises.
EDITOR’S NOTE: In keeping with the laws of Guyana, the News Room will not reveal the name of the parent quoted in this interview as part of efforts to protect the identity of the child.