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.
posted on: Thursday, October 03, 2013 5:44 PM
I CRY SHAME ON MS. APRIL CROWTHER -GOW , IF SHE WANTS TO DO SOMETHING FOR MS WILLIAMS AND HER CHILDREN , BECAUSE MS WILLIAMS IS A DIE HEART FNM MEMBER , DO SO PRIVATILY . MS CROWTHER -GOW DOES NOT SPEAK FOR ALL OF THE FNM PARTY , WHY SHE CHOOSES TO USE THIS AS A POLITICAL THING , SENDS OUT A WRONG MESSAGE TO THE COMMUNITY .SOMETIMES IN LIFE WE HAVE TO BE ACCOUNTED FOR OUR ACTIONS !
MS WARD DOES NOT NEED ANY HAND OUT .
A concern citizens posted on: Monday, September 30, 2013 8:16 PM
The Parent was wrong and she should make a public statement apologizing to Mrs Ward and the school for her actions.
Also she should be made to spend some jail time if only 3 months.
Because we want other parents who may want to walk the same path to know that they will have to spend time in jail for their actions.
The fund raising should be for the children, and Mrs Ward.
There are too much crime in this country, something must be done to stop it.
brian posted on: Saturday, September 28, 2013 2:33 PM
she should go to jail for longer than a few months.mainly because if it was a male fighting a male principal then it would be different.we need to up hold the law either way.or shall we help to bail out all of the people who just had stress when they did a crime.what if the principal had died in the attack.then what.no one is above the law.man-woman or child.community service is a joke and its a soft punishment for any crime.oh and now we see the politics step in.what a surprise.they should try to help the citizens of the Bahamas instead of doing something about this matter.you do the crime ..... you do the time..... i was always told.
dee posted on: Saturday, September 28, 2013 9:24 AM
"Two wonderful women?" We glorify people who go out and attack others instead of settling disagreements in a peaceful adult manner? I agree with the court's decision. Next time Williams will learn to check her temper and remember her home situation before she decides to attack others.
posted on: Friday, September 27, 2013 8:39 PM
We now are willing to accept attacks on our teachers and reward the criminals. No wonder we are in the condition we are in. Disgusting, we
deserve to be a third world failure.
posted on: Friday, September 27, 2013 7:34 PM
As a teacher and a member of the Women's branch of the Free National Movement i am disappointed in the FNM. What kind of message are we sending to the teachers who supported the Free National Movement? I don't feel that a political party should get involve in this, the church, yes, but not the party. We must be careful who we offend by the message we send. I am quite sure it is not about the money for Mrs Ward, it is the principal behind this action. Parents have been coming to the schools and blatantly disrespecting teachers, I live it so i know the pain, but you people who are supporting her are protected in your offices and private work places they do not have to deal with the likes of ms Williams. what are we to do as educators now? take our protections with us? I am ashamed of my party's action. remembers teachers voted too.
posted on: Friday, September 27, 2013 3:28 PM
I think that other groups should step in but the young mother should still give some voluntary service to a notable organization. In other words, besides bailing her out, the organization should have her sign an agreement to work with the Salvation army, Red Cross or possibly one of the old folks home for the same period of time the court had intended to imprison her. In life, we understand that with decisions come consequences of action. While we do sympathize with her we don't want to create a monster by sending the wrong message.
posted on: Friday, September 27, 2013 3:24 PM
That depends on the situation. Considering Ms. Williams situation, she should have been given community service like pastor Victor suggested because she is under a lot of stress not that stress gave her the right to Slap the teacher as it has been rumored that she did but the most interesting thing about this situation is the fact that you have to wait months to go to trial in this country and when you look at the Court System she should have been given bail and end up in Court next year giving her time to get her affairs in order or to put funds together to pay what ever the fines were but it should have not been any jail time and seeing that Mrs. Gow is saying she is a FNM women's branch member, who's to say that was not the reason for her being dealt with so swiftly and in such a harsh manner