Seventeen-year-old Meadowbrook High School student Mickolle Moulton was shot dead in her Arnett Gardens, St Andrew, home on Sunday.

THE Meadowbrook High School community was plunged into mourning on the weekend, following the brutal murder of a 17-year-old student at her home in Arnett Gardens, St Andrew.

The Jamaica Observer learnt yesterday that about 4:25 am on Sunday, Mickolle Moulton of Tenth Street, Zimbabwe, in the community also known as ‘Jungle’, was shot through her bedroom window along with her 12-year-old sister. They were taken to hospital where Mickolle was pronounced dead and her sister is reportedly in stable condition.

It is alleged that Mickolle was killed because she refused the sexual advances of men in the area.

Principal of the institution, Michael Peart, whose voice was laced with grief when the Observer spoke with him yesterday, said he was still in shock as Mickolle was a member of the latest graduating class and would have been a prospect for head girl in the academic year 2018/2019.

He condemned the killing and labelled it as “senseless”, adding that society has lost the value once placed on lives.

Peart went on to argue that the breakdown of social institutions, like the school, are part of the reason why the country is plagued with such indiscipline and violence.

“The output from schools creates society. Students have so many rights these days that you wonder what is wrong. People in the 40, 50, 60 age groups came up in the old school system and have a better sense of what’s right and wrong. Now that that is removed, everyone is doing their thing because they have rights; and then you have these demands being placed on youngsters and the outcomes are unfortunate, as is this case,” he said.

One of the institution’s vice-principals, Lucien Reid, shared similar sentiments. He said although he only taught Mickolle once, by virtue of observation, she could easily have been an ambassador for the school.

“She was lovely, focused, very bright, and an above-average student. There were no behavioural issues and she was a model student. You wouldn’t even know this student was from the inner-city because of her mannerism. In fact, most teachers, including myself, didn’t know until we read the report. Everyone is in a state of shock. There are those students that if something happened it wouldn’t shock you, but no one saw this coming,” Reid said.

He added: “We have one student living in the same community and she would tell us of the happenings and that she had to move, and we assisted in many ways, but we didn’t know Moulton was in the same situation. Trust me, we are shocked. No teacher would say the writing was on the wall. [And] if it is true that she refused sexual advances, that’s the student we knew. She was quite lady-like and wasn’t afraid to remain a child. You looked at her and knew she was a child. It is even harder because, as a school, we are not getting the chance to mourn together. It will now be based on how each individual staff and student’s family reacts to it.”

Reid, who is also a pastor at Meadowbrook United Church, pointed out that he received the news in-between sermons, which rendered him speechless and resulted in his message being changed.

“I was supposed to speak on Esther. The very nature changed, as we had girls from a home visiting. It was as if someone knocked the drive out of me because of what happened to Mickolle. It became a call out to God against situations like these,” Reid told the Observer.

The vice-principal said though the students don’t often let teachers in on “their world”, based on a few screenshots he has seen, they are not dealing with Mickolle’s death well.

In the meantime, president of the school’s past students’ association Donovan Thomas expressed condolences on behalf of the association and indicated that the body is standing in solidarity with the family and will offer help in any way it can.

As news spread of the 17-year-old’s death, past and present students of the institution took to various social media platforms to express their sorrow and outrage, with some even calling for the stiffest penalties to be imposed on the perpetrators.

“This is just so crazy. My heart is bleeding. Whoever did it, if they don’t turn their life over to God, they need to be tortured and killed, penis chop off, everything,” one person wrote.

“This just seems to get worse by the day. I mean, in her home. Just a wicked set of dogs that would turn guns on innocent kids. Dem man deh no have no heart,” another person wrote.

“Jamaica is going to cry more. I’m sure the psyche of the people are warped. They hate law and order and anything which represents that. They, on the other hand, love rebels and those who damage the system with violence, robbery, and murder,” was the comment from another individual.

The police say investigations into the matter are are ongoing.