Written by on January 31, 2017

A school teacher in Antigua has been charged with the attempted murder of a student.

Yesterday Physics teacher Vendiz Charles, was formally charged for the offense after been detained by police last Friday.

The Antigua Observer reported that last week, Charles was teaching an after-school class at Clare Hall Secondary School, when a group of students involved in an altercation began throwing stones at each other.

One of the stones is said to have hit Charles, who threw it back. The stone ricocheted off a wall and struck 14-year old Akeem Scotland – who was on a bike, in the head. Charles is seen on video immediately seen rushing to the student’s aid.

Akeem Scotland’s mother said when she asked him who was responsible for his injury, he pointed to the teacher, before being rushed to Mount St John’s Medical Centre, where he was warded in the Intensive Care Unit for several days. He has since been discharged and is recuperating at home.

Charles – who began teaching at Clare Hall Secondary School just shy of 6 months ago, is being supported by his colleagues, who say details of the incident are sketchy because students who witnessed it are reluctant to talk, and some said Scotland was doing “wheelies” on his bike and fell hitting his head on a stone.

While the Antigua & Barbuda Union of Teachers (A&BUT) is appealing for the charge of attempted murder to be reviewed, saying in a statement “While the action was irresponsible, and while we respect and support the work and professionalism of the police, we strongly beg to disagree that there was any malice in the teacher’s action that would support the conclusion, that there was intent to murder that student or any other by the teacher in question.”

26-year old Vendiz Charles was released on $10,000 bail and required to surrender his travel documents. He is scheduled to return to court May 15, and allowed to resume work immediately.

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