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#449113 - 10/19/12 01:18 PM Scrutiny For San Pedro Pre School
Marty Online   happy
The Three Angels Pre School in San Pedro is under scrutiny tonight after a police report was made that a 3 and a 1/2 year old boy was molested at the school.

The boy's grandmother took him to the police station last Friday to make the report. The San Pedro Sun reports that the child has been checked by two doctors who certified the child presented signs that he has been sexually molested.

The Sun reports that "the school's principal called an emergency meeting with the Parents Teachers Association on Wednesday evening where she discussed the situation.

She told the parents that she was surprised when "she learnt from unofficial sources that the incident had allegedly occurred on the school grounds."

The Sun reports that she explained to the parents that it is highly unlikely that the alleged sexual molestation occurred on campus since there are three teachers at the school and generally the children are not left unattended.

At this point it is just an allegation and the investigation is ongoing. Police have not detained anyone - and the Ministry of Education says it is in the hands of the police.

Channel 7


3 year old boy sexually abused in San Pedro

On Wednesday, a pre-school in Belize City was attacked by armed robbers. The teacher was held at gunpoint in front of the classroom of four year old children. If that was not enough to shock everyone there is a report coming out of San Pedro Town tonight of a despicable incident. The family of a three and a half year old boy is alleging that the child has been sexually molested at the preschool he attends. The incident allegedly occurred sometime last week and a report was made to the San Pedro Police Station. According to police, the child has been checked by two doctors; a private doctor and another at the San Pedro Polyclinic two. Both reportedly confirm that there are signs of abuse. The grandmother of child visited the Police Station last Thursday and made the report that her grandson had been sexually molested and that she had taken him to a private doctor. There was a follow up visit to the public health facility in San Pedro. The principal of the school called an emergency meeting with the Parent Teachers Association where she discussed the situation in detail on Wednesday night. She told the parents that she was informed by the family members of the situation. The Principal stated that she heard second hand that the abuse had happened on the school compound, but said it is highly unlikely since there are three teachers at any given time and the children are not left unattended. The Ministry of Education told News Five this afternoon that they are aware of the incident and strongly denounce it, but it is now a police matter and they could not comment further. An investigation is now ongoing.

Channel 5


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#449279 - 10/20/12 10:23 PM Re: Scrutiny For San Pedro Pre School [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy
From a Friend in San Pedro:

Everything about this matter is disturbing.

First and foremost there’s that matter of a young child allegedly been molested. An awful idea and if true, something that needs to be thoroughly investigated and severely dealt with.

Keep one word in mind however: alleged. It’s used in one form or another many times in the articles that are making the rounds here.

Alleged
1: asserted to be true or to exist
2: questionably true or of a specified kind
3: accused but not proven or convicted
www.merriam-webster.com

Just because something is repeated over and over - whether in a sensational, emotionally charged “news” article or gossiped about by people all too eager to believe the most outrageous and scandalous accusations about their neighbors as long as it’s negative - doesn’t make it a fact.

Secondly, there’s the matter of the person accused – but not by the police – in this matter. He’s being accused in the media and by gossip mongers without any evidence aside from a sensational, lurid news piece.

He and his family are horrified that a crime may have been committed against this child, and they’re shattered that this is being reported and gossiped about as if the accusations of guilt were fact.

It’s fruitless to hope that the media develop a conscience. It would however be encouraging to see community members, whether actual members of the San Pedro/Belizean community or members of this message board show some common decency and restraint – this is a traumatic experience for everyone involved.

If the facts prove someone guilty of the alleged crime, fine. Nail them. Until then no one, whether a newspaper or a neighbor, has any right to pass judgment.

Consider this: It’s the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.

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#449282 - 10/20/12 10:36 PM Re: Scrutiny For San Pedro Pre School [Re: Marty]
Diane Campbell Offline
Well said above. Gossip is poison.


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#449595 - 10/24/12 01:17 PM Re: Scrutiny For San Pedro Pre School [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

Little Angels Preschool - The Other Side

Last week, we told you about the controversy surrounding the Little Angels preschool in San Pedro.

A three year old boy and his grandmother made a complaint to police alleging that he had been molested at the school.

It has caused quite an uproar at the school and put the principal and owner Marina Graniel Kay and her family under intense scrutiny. Today we spoke to her attorney Dolores Balderamos Garcia who said the adverse attention is unwarranted because there has been no police investigation to implicate anyone.

Balderamos Garcia instead apportioned blame to an education officer. Here are her comments:..

Dolores Balderamos Garcia, attorney
"I don't defend allege child abusers. My involvement in relation to the reputation of my client, her family and the school and far be it from me to deny any allegations but I have to say that the police's position is that the investigation is at a very initial stage and the matter is in the hands of the police."

"Now, my major concern is that you have 70 children at that pre-school. My client has painstakingly build up a good reputation for care of those children at that school over 16 years and I can say with certainty that the hours are 8:30 in the morning to 11:30. The children are constantly under supervision from the 4 teachers and the premises are small and the bathroom area can only be access through the classroom. So we have to make that part of it clear. Now, what is also the case and base on my looking at the situation and having spent a good amount of time in San Pedro on Friday is that what we seem to have here which people need to know about is an overzealous education officer who seems not to be behaving professionally and I say that advisedly. I don't say that likely."

The Ministry of Education had told us that the official position was that it was a police matter and they would make no moves until that investigation was completed.

Channel 7


Attorney Balderamos Garcia defends client and business tarnished by toddler abuse case

Dolores Balderamos-Garcia

Last Thursday we reported that the family of a three year old boy alleges that he was sexually abused at his pre-school in San Pedro Town.  The infant was subsequently examined by two doctors, who reportedly confirmed that there are signs of abuse.  While there have been no arrests in the matter, the school’s reputation, as well as its administration, has been the subject of public criticism.  Little Angels Pre-School, owned and managed by Marina Graniel-Kay, has come under fire from residents of the island, following rumors of sexual abuse on the compound.  Attorney Dolores Balderamos-Garcia, who represents Graniel-Kay, visited San Pedro on Friday to conduct an investigation into the matter.  She told News Five today that her client is being thrown under the bus before a proper police investigation is concluded.

Dolores Balderamos-Garcia, Attorney

“I represent Ms. Marina Graniel-Kay and her pre-school Little Angels Pre-School in San Pedro and I think it’s very important for us to set the record straight in terms of hearing what is the situation.  I spent the day on Friday in San Pedro making a thorough investigation of the circumstances in this matter.  First of all I’d like to make it clear that I don’t do criminal cases, nor do I represent alleged child abusers.  So my client is Ms. Kay and her pre-school and they have the right to the hard earned reputation that she has, she and her pre-school of sixteen years.  She’s the principal.  Now this is very unfortunate and from my investigation on Friday in San Pedro, this seems to be the case of an overzealous education officer, who is conducting one’s self in a most unprofessional way and I don’t say that lightly because what has happened in this matter is that rumors have just grown legs and all of a sudden my client’s family seem to be involved and it is absolutely unfounded.  We took the opportunity to meet a length with the police, who have assured us that this case is only in the very initial stages of investigation.  There is no suspect or suspects at this time.  There are angles that any, you know, self-respecting and professional investigative journalist will want to examine in terms of the possible abuse of this child but I can say with certainty that not even the doctor’s reports have been properly obtained by the police and that has come directly from the police themselves in San Pedro.  So, I would like to say, especially to the San Pedro community, that once you take out toothpaste, for example, out of a tube, you can’t put it back.  Once you start to damage people’s reputation it is very, very difficult to put it back.  Apparently this individual has claimed that she is going to shut down Little Angels’ school and I really would wish that the ministry would want to take a very hard look at that kind of most irresponsible statement.  I took the opportunity, for example, to visit the premises of the school [and] it is secure.  It’s a tight premises, meaning it’s not huge, and the classrooms are there, three little classrooms and two bathrooms that you can only get into from inside the premises.”

Channel 5


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#449656 - 10/25/12 03:21 AM Re: Scrutiny For San Pedro Pre School [Re: Marty]
pamkillen Offline
It is really important that a society takes accusations of child abuse seriously. I am glad that these issues are beginning to get a proper review. The problem is when people who are not specialists begin to interview children. Research has shown that we can impose memories on young children and once a first interview is improperly done, there is no case. It is very important to always take a deep breath and follow proper protocol.
There was a case in Mass where the Souza family had a day care and there was a very similar type of process. 3 people ended up in jail for 30 years and then all kids retracted and said that the initial interview led their words. On top of that, the real perpetrator walked free.
We all need to be careful when we gossip about these very difficult issues.

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#449683 - 10/25/12 01:24 PM Re: Scrutiny For San Pedro Pre School [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

Attorney Speaks On Behalf Of Marina Graniel Kay

Last week the family of a three year old boy from San Pedro Town made a serious accusation against Little Angels Pre-School owned and managed by Marina Graniel-Kay. At the time of the accusation, the story made headlines on all media houses including CTV3 News. The grandmother of the preschooler reported to San Pedro Police that her grandson had been sexually abused while at the preschool. The child, we understand, was examined by two doctors who confirmed that there were signs of abuse. The accusation was cause for public outcry especially in San Pedro and the integrity of the school and owner is now in question. So far no one has been detained by San Pedro Police and answers are slow to come by. But according to Graniel-Kay’s attorney, Dolores Balderamos Garcia, the accusations made against her client are uncalled-for.

Dolores Balderamos Garcia- Attorney

“I represent Ms. Marina Graniel-Kay and her pre-school Little Angels Pre-School in San Pedro. First of all I’d like to make it clear that I don’t do criminal cases, nor do I represent alleged child abusers. So my client is Ms. Kay and her pre-school and they have the right to the hard earned reputation that she has, she and her pre-school of sixteen years. She’s the principal. Now this is very unfortunate and from my investigation on Friday in San Pedro, this seems to be the case of an overzealous education officer, who is conducting one’s self in a most unprofessional way and I don’t say that lightly because what has happened in this matter is that rumors have just grown legs and all of a sudden my client’s family seem to be involved and it is absolutely unfounded. We took the opportunity to meet a length with the police, who have assured us that this case is only in the very initial stages of investigation. There is no suspect or suspects at this time. There are angles that any, you know, self-respecting and professional investigative journalist will want to examine in terms of the possible abuse of this child but I can say with certainty that not even the doctor’s reports have been properly obtained by the police and that has come directly from the police themselves in San Pedro. Apparently this individual has claimed that she is going to shut down Little Angels’ school and I really would wish that the ministry would want to take a very hard look at that kind of most irresponsible statement.

As mentioned so far no one has been detained.

CTV3


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