Carter matric dance fracas

2012-10-16 00:00

IT was supposed to have been one of the highlights of the school calendar, instead the matric ball at Carter High School on Saturday will be remembered for all the wrong reasons.

Seventeen matric pupils were banned on Friday from attending the annual dance, after they allegedly threw eggs inside the school in “celebration” of their last day the day before (Thursday).

The final matric exams start next week.

The school on Friday duly banned the pupils it believed were the culprits, who were apparently identified on CCTV footage.

However, some of the parents were incensed that their children were being banned for a prank that they believed involved the majority of Carter’s matric class.

They decided to ignore the ban and on Saturday night accompanied their children to the school ball in the hope of petitioning the principal, Ash Ramgoolam, directly.

The parents had hoped that there would be a last-minute change of heart when their children — dressed in their finery — clamoured to be allowed in.

While Ramgoolam was prepared to allow the banned matrics to pose for official photographs, he made clear that they would have to leave immediately afterwards.

But as the banned group entered the hall, some of the parents pushed from behind and a fracas ensued in the foyer.

One of the parents, who asked not to be named as he did not want his child to be victimised, claimed that a teacher had punched and grabbed a matric pupil by the neck.

The pupil’s father allegedly tried to accost the teacher, but was held back by other parents.

Matrics inside the hall were apparently oblivious to the drama unfolding in the foyer and continued to enjoy themselves.

The situation in the foyer eventually calmed down when two police cars sped into the school’s parking lot and four police officers alighted.

Some of the protesting parents left, leaving the police to speak to the remaining ones, as well as the security.

Police spokespeson Joey Jeevan said two charges of assault were opened following the incident.

One was laid by a teacher against a pupil on Sunday. The pupil laid a countercharge against the teacher yesterday. “The charges are being investigated and will be forwarded to the Public Prosecutor for a decision,” said Jeevan.

Ramgoolam told The Witness yesterday: “It is still being dealt with internally and from the position of the school, we will not be issuing a comment at this point.”

A statement would be issued after a school governing body meeting scheduled for tomorrow night.

Governing body chairperson William de Vos said: “I’ve had no full report on the incident, and I can’t comment on a report I haven’t seen yet.”

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