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Penal community mourns death of RC student and mom

Photo source: St Dominic's RC School Facebook Page

The school community at St Dominic’s RC, Penal is traumatised after receiving news today Tuesday, May 10, that 12-year-old Levi Lewis, a pupil of the graduating Standard Five Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) class had been murdered.

“He was a very outgoing child, outspoken, outgoing, always around; you could say the whole school knew Levi,” principal Lynn Moodie said in an interview today.

Moodie continued, “He was a child not afraid to ask questions and make comments…he was a child like that. He was a nice child. I knew him from Infants department.” Lewis sat the SEA examination on March 31 and was awaiting his results.

Lewis and his mother Abiola Cudjoe were found murdered at their Lachoos Road, Penal home. Police were searching for a suspect.

News of his death spread around the school early as some children are from Levi’s community. He lived a mile from the school and walked to and from with other pupils.

Moodie said a student met her in the car park after she arrived this morning telling her, “ ‘Miss, Levi died. Miss, Levi got killed, he got killed’ ”. At the time Moodie thought he died in an accident.

Members of the school community: teachers, children, ancillary staff, and a parent on site were in tears. “The Standard Five children, they were crying and a few of the teachers were consoling them; the area he lived, the houses are very close by so they would have known,” Moodie said.

She contacted the School Supervisor for the school, and Student Support Services Division (SSSD) of the Ministry of Education. A team of guidance officers and social workers arrived at the school to do an intervention with the Standard Five class.

School Manager Fr Robert Christo and the Catholic Education Board of Management’s Vicariate Manager (Southern II) Bunnie Tajudeen visited the school to offer support. Moodie said the children were not open with the SSSD officers as they were still terribly upset. The team would return tomorrow.

Fr Christo prayed with the children and Tajudeen distributed rosaries and prayed the rosary with the class. She invited them to share memories about

Levi. She urged them to hold on to the rosary and when they recited it, to remember Levi in prayer.

Fr Christo said a holistic, pastoral intervention to the school and family will continue. He said the St Dominic’s parish was journeying with Cudjoe and family. She had been attending the church for a while and her baby was baptised at the church.