Children’s Advocate Commissions Investigation Into Drowning of St. Andrew College Students

Kingston, Jamaica, February 06, 2012 --( The Office of the Children’s Advocate (OCA), under the direction of the Children’s Advocate Diahann Gordon-Harrison, today February 6, 2012, commissioned an investigation into the drowning of 15 year old Shane Burke and 16 year old Demel Osbourne. The boys who are students of St. Andrew College, drowned at the Shan Shay beach last week in Portland having left Kingston on a school trip that was destined for the St. Mary Banana Estate, a plantation in the parish of St. Mary.

Mrs. Gordon-Harrison says every effort will be made to ascertain the circumstances which led to the untimely death of the two youngsters, as their safety was entrusted in their teachers to whom their parents gave permission for them to go on the field trip to St. Mary. “If the reports concerning this incident are indeed accurate, it is of a troubling nature. It is with a deep sense of sadness and utter amazement that the teachers who were entrusted with the care of the children, could have displayed such wanton disregard in exercising proper safety precautions in relation to their students.”

The OCA has written to the principal of St. Andrew College requesting information that will assist the OCA as it probes the unfortunate incident. Contact will also be made with the parents of Shane Burke and Demel Osbourne in a bid to assist where possible, with social support services that are necessary.

Under the Child Care and Protection Act (2004) persons entrusted with the care and protection of children must at all times execute their duties in a manner which safeguards the well being of children.

For further information contact:
Nicole Hayles
Manager, Public Education and Special Projects
Office of The Children's Advocate (Jamaica)
Telephone: (876) 948-1293 / 948-3771
Office of The Children's Advocate
Nicole Hayles (Manager, Public Education & Special Projects)
(876) 948-1293