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Bullying Victim Restored To Dignity With Recognition Event By Human Services

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DHS Commissioner Anita Roberts shares the love

CHARLOTTE AMALIE – Commissioner Designee Dr. Anita Roberts, along with more than 20 division managers of the Department of Human Services filled, the DHS conference room on Friday, October 7, 2016, for an “Afternoon of Love” and imparted words of wisdom to the 17-year-old teenager who was assaulted by a peer on September 15, 2016. His jaw was damaged by the repetitive blows, causing him to get four plate implants that are now a permanent fixture on his face.

“I am holding back my anger and my tears,” stated the victim’s mother speaking of her son. “He was born 1 pound 6 ounces and had to stay in the hospital for 9 ½ months before I could take him home. He has always been a fighter from birth because he had a lot of issues.”

Roberts introduced the teenager to everyone as her new best friend. “We do NOT tolerate bullying. And it is NOT happening on our watch,” Roberts emphatically expressed.

Roberts planned the event to let the boy and his mother know that the Department of Human Services is here to help him in any way. “We are family and family sticks together,” Roberts said.

Despite all of the hardship he has experienced, the teenager continues to be very active in school as a Jr. ROTC sergeant, a rank he just made. He has plans to join the military and to become a mechanic. His soft spoken demeanor won the hearts of everyone in the room.

The “Afternoon of Love” gathering ended with a distribution of gifts and a cake that he was not able to consume because he has eight more weeks before he is able to eat solid foods. However, he is able to eat ice cream and a tub was brought especially for him.

“We are about our children, who are our future. When one is in pain, we all hurt and feel that pain,” Roberts said.

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OUTSTANDING SUCCESS: Everyone in attendance said they gained something valuable from the event sponsored by the Department of Human Services.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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