Young Scholar Patrol Assistant  becomes a crime statistic

Jade Jaftha 
Tomorrow I will be attending the funeral of 12 year old Jade, a learner of St Mary’s Primary School in Retreat. Jade was one of her school's Scholar Patrol wardens, helping others to cross Retreat Road that carriers heavy traffic. She was also a keen soccer player, I am told.

 My mind drifts off to Tuesday, the day Jade was killed. There Jade was, probably giggling and sharing girly moments with her two friends on their way home from school.  Perhaps they were teasing or sharing secrets while they waited to cross the busy road.  Then, without warning, the reckless taxi driver snuffs out Jade’s life and knocks the shoes right off her friend’s feet.

School is community hub

When I visit the school, I see Teresa, usually the epitome of calm, showing signs of strain.  She has spent the greater part of Tuesday evening at the day hospital with the injured friends of Jade.  Yet, hours later, Teresa had already made funeral arrangements because she knows Jade’s mother, a single parent, cannot afford to and depends on the school to help her during this difficult time. 

There is no fuss and no accolades expected by the Head nor to the school. This is just the way things happen in poor school communities where school and family blur into one care and support union.   Here community and networking become living pulses – far removed from the academic journals and the coffee shop small talk by those who have been spared the horrors of poverty.

Fond goodbyes

Jade is going to be one proud angel when her extended family lay her to rest tomorrow. We know the school’s rhythm is a composition of all these twists and turns – being in tune with the complexities of life and being a force to be reckoned with on the provincial Litnum league tables. This is just the way it is for Teresa and her staff. We salute our heroes...


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