The Grand Bahama Free National Movement (FNM) Women’s Association is raising funds for Jack Hayward High School Principal Yvonne Ward and the parent who attacked her, Latoya Denise Williams, The Freeport News has learned.
Williams was recently jailed for six months after pleading guilty to attacking Principal Ward. She was also given one month for resisting arrest, fined $25 for disorderly behavior and ordered to pay $684 as compensation for breaking Ward’s eyeglasses and $200 in punitive damages to her. However, Williams was unable to pay the fines and was sentenced to an additional six months in jail.
Yesterday, April Crowther- Gow, President of GB FNM Women’s Association, said the organization was moved to step in.
“This isn’t about if we’re supporting these two wonderful women or not, it’s the fact that it takes a million women to get one woman elected and it’s because they think that as sisters we’re never together. But I’m a mother and so is Ms. Williams and Mrs. Ward and I’m sure both of their families are just devastated by this whole ordeal. So, someone needs to step up and help and we don’t care who it is we just want to make sure at the end of the day, we are our sister’s and brother’s keeper,” she said.
Crowther-Gow went on to say, “Both of the women are dynamic and decent women in our community and this is a tragic event. We’re not condoning what Ms. Williams did because what she did was wrong.”
The organization’s leader also said they were inspired to show their support to Principal Ward as she is a “great contributor to the educational system.”
“We also realize that we had to step in because Mrs. Ward is a phenomenal teacher and her contributions to the educational system of Grand Bahama will never go unrecognized and we want to know that her community loves and supports her as well. There were many fines and penalties attributed to Ms. Williams’ actions, she is not employed, she currently has three dependents under the age of 18 so we needed to do something. Also, she is a member of the association and she contributes what little she can to help us be successful,” she said.
“We have to support our sisters like Mrs. Ward because she needs to make sure she is safe, her school is safe, the children are safe and that no parent thinks again that they can do this. It is time for us to sit down and be able to communicate with each other in a Godly and reasonable way. However, her punishment was very severe and she is unemployed and we just can’t abandon people because they make wrong decisions or in heat of passion,” Crowther-Gow concluded.
Pastor Eddie Victor, of Living Water Assembly of God, said he believes the incident was a ‘social dilemma.’
“What we have in the case of Ms. Williams is a social dilemma. She is not working with three dependent children but when you look at that condition and having to be taken out, that’s where the problem is because we did our best to ask the court to give her some kind of probationary community service but we wasn’t able to convince the court, but I think we made a good presentation,” he said.
Disappointed in the logic of today’s society, Victor said he has noticed that ‘Christian compassion’ is non-existent.
“We’re not seeing the kind of Christian compassion that we ought to. We talk about help your neighbor but we don’t see that and that’s our society these days but only when it comes to a certain group of people who understand the value of helping other people and we’re seeing that demonstrated with so many individuals, which is phenomenal,” he said.
Victor also said although Williams is not a member of his church, he was motivated to assist her in her time of need because it was the right thing to do.
He also commended the FNM Women’s Association’s decision to support Williams because of her current economical situation.
“I think that it’s a good thing that people get behind this because it’s a good thing to support the mother in her dilemma. It’s not a good thing that it happened and I don’t agree with what happened, but I also think that we have to try and help people. Being a pastor and a part of the church, we are to do our best to help people the best way we can,” Victor added.
He went on to say, “I think that’s a good thing for them to go ahead and do because it is really helping a person that needs the help. I’ve been able to verify her condition and she needs the help.”
Do you think a political party, or any other group, should be raising money to aid those convicted of a crime? You can comment on this story below or on our Facebook page.