By: St. Clair Sazam Hull
(CHARLESTOWN NEVIS)-On Monday September 8, 2014 the staff and pupils of the Charlestown Secondary School returned to the establishment after the long summer vacation. Ordinarily, the first day back at school after the summer vacation is usually a joyous occasion. New students would have been entering the school for the first time and current students would have been catching up with friends who they may not have seen in many weeks.
There was little evidence of joy this morning as students and staff, tried to grapple with the abominable incident that occurred on Saturday, September 6, 2014 involving a former student of the institution, 15 year old Shante Claxton of Jessups Village.
The alleged rape and murder of the teenager, has left all four corners of Nevis in despair but more particularly those who attended school with her almost on a daily basis.
Principal of the institution, Mr. Edson Elliott told the students during morning devotion that they were all shocked and appalled by what had transpired. He stated, “When we heard of what had happened to young Shante we were in disbelief as to why it did”. Mr. Elliott indicated that occurrences such as this is not normal and is always difficult to handle. He assured the students that counseling would be provided especially to those who were close friends of the victim.
Pastor Eversley Pemberton, also gave some consoling remarks to the students. Mr. Pemberton noted that the situation is rather worrisome, but he assured all in attendance that God has a way of wringing good out of evil. He continued, “I know your hearts have been broken from what your schoolmate was put to endure, but I want to remind you that God is still in control and once you trust him, he will help you overcome your futility”. He also indicated that at times we may ask ourselves, why something like that had to happen to an innocent little girl, but that is because there are evil people living amongst us. In closing the Pastor urged the children to appreciate life and to keep praising God.
Principal Education Officer, Mrs. Lornette Queeley-Connor, delivered some inspiring remarks. She told the children gathered that what had taken place over the past weekend has caused a lot of emotional pain but she urged them to use that unfortunate incident to propel them to bigger and better things. She noted that the Charlestown Secondary School and Nevis on a whole needed them now more than ever before and as young people they must arise to the challenge. In conclusion Mrs. Queeley-Connor stated to the children that they must be prudent, wise and kind to their peers and always remember they could do all things through Christ who strengthens them.
Mr. Patterson Flemming, who currently serves as President of the Parents Teachers Association (PTA) of the school also gave some brief remarks. He told the senior students that they ought to be good role models to the younger ones especially those who have just entered the institution. The President also indicated to the students, that they have some competent teachers and an excellent Principal and they should treat them with utmost respect.
Mr. Flemming claimed that the dreadful incident that took place over the weekend is a difficult one for him to handle not only as a parent but also due to the fact that Shante’s mother is his co-worker at Nisbet Plantation Beach Club.