The shocking image of a 14-year-old girl, lying naked on a cement floor in a solitary confinement cell at the Government Industrial School (GIS), has so angered a board member that she has vowed to take action against the school and, by extension, Government.
“I am sick of it,” said Marsha Hinds-Layne, who sits on the board as deputy chair of the GIS and who is also the president of the National Organisation of Women.
Investigations revealed that the child, who was sent to the school two weeks ago after being charged for wandering, was placed in what is called the “suicide cell” as is the practice with new entrants at the institution, a reform school for delinquent boys and girls.
Sources said on Day 13 of confinement at the girls’ section at Barrows, St Lucy, the child complained vociferously about the poor quality of food she was being fed.
“She was very upset and she was shouting and crying,” a source said.
The food was removed and replaced with six biscuits with butter and a cup of tea.
This further angered the child and as a result she was taken to the Psychiatric Hospital.
“When she returned she was tossed into the cell naked on the cold concrete floor.
“A staff member started to keep noise and said it was inhumane and that was when she was given a bare mattress to lie on,” said the source, noting that the following day she was given underwear.
When contacted, Minister of Home Affairs Wilfred Abrahams, who said earlier this year that an investigation would be conducted at the school, told the Sunday Sun: “I am awaiting a report on it that I expect to receive by tomorrow. Because of the nature and implications of the allegations, it is necessary to fully investigate this matter and take appropriate action informed by the findings. I am taking these allegations very seriously and will be open with the findings.”