Pain, anger after 6-year-old boy dies on way home from school

MONTEGO BAY, St James — Grief hung heavy in the air at Georgia Adams’ house in Catadupa, St James, on Friday, one day after her six-year-old son Jevanie Kidd was found dead after being washed away by flood waters on his fourth day of school.

Jevanie, a grade one student at Catadupa Primary School, is believed to have experienced difficulties during heavy rainfall in his community as he walked home from school on Thursday afternoon.

From all accounts the water pulled him into a stream. His body, school bag and books were found hours later.

Adams, though, is not pleased with the school, claiming that a change in the dismissal time was the reason Jevanie walked home that afternoon.

“I want to know why they allowed him to come through that gate at that time. I really would like to know why the school let out the students, especially the grade one students, because I heard that it was raining. But when I went to the school they told me that the rain started around 10 minutes after school ended,” Adams told the Jamaica Observer.

“We didn’t know that school was ending at 2:00 pm. When I asked them, they said that they sent a message to us in the [WhatsApp] group. But I was at work and unable to use my phone, so I didn’t get that information. If I had gotten that information I could have called up here and have Jevanie picked up from school by 2:00 pm,” the mother said.

When the Sunday Observer contacted Catadupa Primary School on Friday afternoon the principal, Marcia Gordon, stated that she is unauthorised to speak to the media.

Adams told the Sunday Observer that one of Jevanie’s aunts would always ensure that he got to and from school safely.

“In the evening when his auntie was ready to go back to school for him she couldn’t find him. We heard that Jevanie was at a shop buying sweetie and the shopkeeper told him not to go in the rain, however, he said that he is going home so he took his bag and left,” Adams said.

As Adams recounted the phone call that changed her life, sniffles came from a nearby room occupied by one of Jevanie’s sisters. She was the one who had prepared him for school on Thursday morning.

The sister, who told the Sunday Observer that she was too shaken to speak, said Jevanie cried to not attend school that morning.

Adams went on to relate how she had received the news of her son’s death.

“I was coming from work when I got a call from my daughter to say that they cannot find Jevanie and I started to get upset. I asked her if the river came over on the road and from I heard that the river come over, I just said that maybe he tried to cross that river,” she said.

“When I was on my way, a number of people were searching for him at the river. They found his bag first and while continuing their search they found Jevanie lying down beside a tree trunk with his head tilting as if his neck was broken,” Adams added.

Jelandi Gordon, another of the boy’s sisters, will have a hard time recovering from the pain of losing her brother.

“We had a great relationship, and I would always take things for him when I’m coming home from work because he was very helpful. He would always help me with my baby,” Gordon told the Sunday Observer.

Catadupa resident Daniel Harding said he was in the search team who located Jevanie on Thursday evening. The man is calling for the Government’s intervention as he fears for the lives of young children walking in the flood-prone community.

“We need a bridge out there because that water coming down from Lapland side is not any normal water. I am literally begging the Government because we cannot lose another child like this,” he said.

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