Gladys Louis was so worried for her son’s safety that she planned to send him to live with relatives in Orlando, Florida, so he wouldn’t be bullied after school anymore.
But her son never made it.
Perry Rolle Jr., 15, was killed on Tuesday. Police said a student from C.C. Sweeting Senior High School stabbed Rolle in the chest following a fight on Pitt Road.
The Nassau Guardian visited Louis at her Wilson Track Road home yesterday.
“I love him and he loved me,” Louis said through sobs. “I know he loved me. I wasn’t even there to protect him. I wasn’t there. When he called on me I wasn’t there.”
She said a girl who witnessed the murder told her she tried to stop it.
“When she came to tell me my child got stabbed yesterday, she said she plead to the boy and told him, ‘Don’t do it. Don’t do it. I would give you my money, I would pay you not to hurt him.’
“And the boy still stabbed my child and killed him.”
Louis said this was the third time her son was stabbed and noted that he was constantly being bullied by boys from C.C. Sweeting.
“His first time he got stabbed in his arm,” she said.
“Then the next attack, they attacked him and they stabbed him in his eyes. I took my son out of school and I told him I can’t take T.A. [Thompson Junior High School] no more.”
She said teachers at T.A. Thompson did all they could to intervene, but it wasn’t enough.
Louis said she disciplined her son and spoke to him about the company he kept, but the constant attacks led her son to arm himself.
She would find minor weapons on him and would take them from him because she didn’t want him to hurt anyone, Louis said.
But she said, “He’s telling us, ‘How about them hurting me mummy?’
Louis said she wanted to send her son to live with family in Orlando, Florida.
“I was just waiting for him to finish his exams at T.A. I was planning on sending him somewhere else,” she said.
She added, “My son loved me. We joked together. Whatever I did he still showed me he loved me.”
Students, teachers and staff at T.A. Thompson Junior High School gathered yesterday to mourn Rolle’s death.
While The Nassau Guardian was not allowed inside T.A. Thompson’s auditorium, the screams and sobs echoed throughout the school.
Groups of students were periodically escorted out of the service, many in tears and in each other’s arms.
Minister of Education Jeffrey Lloyd visited the school and later told parliamentarians in the House of Assembly that the students who witnessed the murder were crying so uncontrollably that they could not talk.
“What was particularly … heartbreaking for me is that I was directed into a room of students, about nine young men and three young women, who were all crying uncontrollably and who were all witnesses of this most unfortunate and tragic event,” Lloyd said.
“So uncontrollably and inconsolably that they were unable to speak to me or the counselors who had gathered at that time, young men and young women.”