By MORGAN ADDERLEY
Tribune Staff Reporter
IF she could say anything to the two teenagers who conspired to fatally stab 15-year-old Perry Rolle Jr on Tuesday afternoon, his mother, Gladys Louis simply has one question, “Why?”.
“Tell me well, why did you hurt my son like that? Why did you take his life like that? Because my son didn’t have that in him, to take another person’s life,” the 38-year-old mother told The Tribune yesterday.
In an emotional interview, Ms Louis discussed the harrowing experience of losing her firstborn and only son to violence — which she described as the culmination of serious bullying that has occurred throughout this past school year.
Rolle, a ninth-grade student at TA Thompson Junior High School, was fatally stabbed after school near the premises of TG Glover Primary School by a 16-year-old student of the neighbouring CC Sweeting High School.
Education Minister Jeff Lloyd said two teenagers, one of whom was in possession of a knife, directed the other perpetrator to stab the victim, which he did, several times about his body.
Ms Louis insisted her son was “targeted”, adding in the fall 2018 term he was stabbed twice—once in the arm and once under his eye. To this end, she said the perpetrators of her son’s murder should be tried as adults.
Rolle, who was affectionately known as “PJ”, was described by Ms Louis as an affectionate son and protective brother of his two younger sisters, ages 10 and 8.
“He wouldn’t allow people to do them anything,” she said of her son’s relationships with his sisters. “You could see where he cares for his sisters, he looked out for them. He never wanted nothing bad, nobody to mistreat them.”
When asked about their own relationship, Ms Louis said the night before his murder, her son was particularly affectionate.
“(He) kissed me, hugged me, cracked silly jokes with me,” she said. “Because he was a (comedian).
“And for some reason lately it just was getting more and more and more. Like I would meet him in my room and then he would come playing with me or I’d be laying down in the bed and he (would come in) there and he hugging me and throwing himself on me.
“In these last few weeks…he really was showing the love.”
Ms Louis added her son promised to take care of her in her old age.
“I always used to ask him, ‘when I get older, you going to take care of me? Because you see the struggle, I struggle with y’all.’
“I say ‘PJ, you ga do stuff for me when I get older?’ He say, ‘yes mummy, what you meaning? I ga take care of you.’”
The distraught mother said despite the bullying, her son loved school. She also commended the staff of TA Thompson for the love they showed her son.
“He loved school. I tried to take him out of school because it was so much going on (in terms of bullying). One day he comes home with his face swollen, where someone punch him. Then there’s a time when he got stab on his arm area. There’s another time again they stab him under his eye, beat him up.”
Ms Louis said these incidents began last September. Regarding the perpetrators, she said he knew both boys, and alleged he had an altercation with the perpetrator before.
When asked if the school could have done more to combat the bullying, she replied: “I think the school was trying, but if the law enforcement did push in more, because it’s so much going on, less things would happen.”
Ms Louis called for more police assistance because there’s only “so much the teachers could do.”
“I must say, (the teachers) really was there for them and they showed him a lot of love. The school showed him lots and lots of love. And to watch the students them…those students really love him,” she added, referencing how distraught the students of TA Thompson were as they filled the school’s halls yesterday morning.
Regarding the perpetrators of her son’s murder, Ms Louis said: “I only would like to ask them a question, and ask them why. Why they felt like they had to take his life? Why? I would like to hear what their response will be to me, face to face.
“I think they should be tried as adults. Because they knew and it wasn’t the first incident. Seeing that it wasn’t the first incident, I could say ‘maybe they didn’t…’ you know? But you did something to him before and you turn around and went after him again.”
Ms Louis also addressed the widespread issue of youth violence in the country. “All I could say right now is this: my son passed. He is not coming back to me. In the meantime, if everybody could work together to save the other children, the other boys, save their life, save them from going to prison — pitch in and do more. Because maybe if everybody did pitch in and do more, what happened yesterday (Tuesday) maybe wouldn’t have happened.”