No, Mr Jones

Crime Stoppers disagrees with minister on metal detectors at schools

The independent crime fighting charity Crime Stoppers Barbados is challenging Minister of Education Ronald Jones to reconsider his position on metal detectors in secondary schools here as means of curbing the worrying levels of violence involving weapons.

Jones has dismissed the idea of such security checks despite what the teachers unions say is a troubling rise in student-on-student and student-on-teacher violence.

However, Crime Stoppers Chairman Oral Reid told journalists at a news conference this morning at the Southern Palms Hotel in St Lawrence Gap, Christ Church, that given the frequency and gravity of the violent acts at school, it would be foolhardy to discount the use of technology in ensuring the safety of students and staff.

From left, Crime Stoppers Chairman Oral Reid, Programme Director Sherie Holder-Olutayo and Project Coordinator Imran Richards at today’s press conference.

“I think that it [metal detectors] is absolutely important especially at this juncture when we appear to be embracing technology that every effort be used to engage that technology. We are not advocating the use of devices which are not aesthetically pleasing at the entrance of schools,” said Reid, who contended that Barbadians had already become used walking through security scanners at the various stores around the island.

“This is nothing new and all we are saying is that if you have an environment and you care about the people who occupy space, whether they are members of staff or students, every effort must be made to ensure that you have enough security persons at your entrance
and whatever technology can be engaged to assist with the safety of those persons,” he added.

In the wake of an incident at The Ellerslie School last month in which a student suffered lacerations to an arm and had one finger severed and another partially severed in a cutlass attack by another student, Jones strongly rejected calls for the installation of metal detectors at the school gates, stressing that he was not prepared to let the majority good students suffer because of few bad ones.

Addressing the launch of the school’s sixth form programme six days after the cutlass attack, the minister suggested that those who called for scanners were blowing the incident out of proportion.

“The majority of our children do not travel with sharp edged tools, with weapons of destruction. So Peter got to pay for Paul and Paul pay for all? If you have the metal detectors there the disobedient will stash their weapons outside. You don’t change society by patchwork, so don’t come asking me foolishness,” he said.

However Reid, a criminologist and former police officer, explained that while he could only guess the rationale for Jones’ position on the matter, it ran counter to the logic derived from his vast experience in law enforcement.

“As a person who has been in the security practice for more than 30 years I am very strong and passionate on this issue. I am well aware that the minister has taken a certain position but this may be a matter of cost; but I cannot think in terms of cost. I have to think in terms of safety and security and  . . . that is the area of my orientation,” Reid said.

“We believe that the metal detectors would lend itself to the provision of an environment of safety and security whether they are at schools or other places where we value the lives of persons who utilize those spaces. Whereas the police recognize that firearms is a weapon of choice for society, we as a board recognize that in reported and unreported cases the statistics that students are entering schools with various other forms of weapons. We see this as a problem that has to be addressed by firm action, which includes conducting checks,” he stressed.

21 Responses to No, Mr Jones

  1. Aleisha Crichlow
    Aleisha Crichlow December 14, 2017 at 10:49 pm

    Agree metal detectors are needed or wunna gine wait for a shooting massacre to happen given all the publicity about the increase of guns on the island and the recent events with cutlasses you would think that this would be a priority not sure where Ronald Jones head is right now but people need to really understand what the times are now bout dere and stop tekking these situations light.

  2. luther thorne December 15, 2017 at 12:56 am

    Wuh I could not understand wuh the Minister was saying when he objected to the idea. They fail to understand people nowadays are behaving bad because they have relaxed our approach to discipline. They are leaving it to people to police themselves. Wrong approach !

  3. Wendel Walkes
    Wendel Walkes December 15, 2017 at 1:31 am

    this man really out of touch with what is going on this move is to protect our children and the teachers, so Mr Jones what do you recommend other than empty talk.

  4. Tony Webster December 15, 2017 at 3:48 am

    Psuedo-Man looking for a psuedo-excuse to deal with a reality he cannot deal with.

  5. Sheron Inniss December 15, 2017 at 6:16 am

    It is not working over and away. I agree with Mr Jones on this one. The baby get throw out with the bath water; that is the problem. The bad behaviour starts in the home.

    If the guardians don’t know how to discipline their offspring and train them they should not go and get them. Raising a child is a serious responsibility. Don’t mind the UN ’bout all those rights hear. We did pretty well back them.

    PLEASE remember your story.

  6. Rosanna Lewis
    Rosanna Lewis December 15, 2017 at 6:30 am

    Our schools are poorly protected. Guard walls are too low or fences have holes. It is OK to have a metal detector to detect what is in front of you but what about what is coming through or over the fence in the back.

  7. Alan Winter December 15, 2017 at 6:49 am

    “Jones strongly rejected calls for the installation of metal detectors at the school gates, stressing that he was not prepared to let the majority good students suffer because of few bad ones.”

    Well what have you done to address the issue? NOTHING…Another problem solved for Barbados because that is how ALL problems are solved…..DO NOTHING !!

    They want the problems to escalate because we are blinded by the trivia that could easily be solved whilst the TAXPAYER’S MONEY IS DISAPPEARING !!

  8. Gillian Skeete
    Gillian Skeete December 15, 2017 at 8:13 am

    Blowing a lot of hot air again

  9. Ann Harding December 15, 2017 at 8:14 am

    Only the sensationalist point has been reported. What about the programmes that Crime Stoppers does initiate and implement? Why did you not report on the importance and effectiveness of those, only one contentious minor issue?

  10. Michael Crichlow
    Michael Crichlow December 15, 2017 at 8:41 am

    Tell me why is this empty suit in the news!

  11. Olutoye Walrond
    Olutoye Walrond December 15, 2017 at 8:59 am

    Turn that matter into a school name change or a sixth form and you would get his immediate support. He seems to be obsessed with those two things and nothing else.

  12. A Concerned Man December 15, 2017 at 9:16 am

    Portal metal detectors vary widely in price. Portals on the market range from as little as US$1,000 up to as much as US$30,000.

    The moderately-priced models around US$4,000 to US$5,000 probably offer the features and reliabilities required for a school metal detection program.

    Unless there is a generous benefactor or donor agency… This is not feasible right now ;-(

  13. Concerned Man December 15, 2017 at 9:54 am

    Portal metal detectors vary widely in price. Portals on the market range from as little as US$1,000 up to as much as US$30,000.

    The moderately-priced models around US$4,000 to US$5,000 probably offer the features and reliabilities required for a school metal detection program.

    Unless there is a generous benefactor or donor agency… This is not feasible right now ;-(

  14. Fred Crothers December 15, 2017 at 9:59 am

    Its easy to understand Mr. Jones refusal to entertain the idea of school metal detectors because their installation would be an admission by the government that it has lost control of crime in the schools and bajan society.

  15. luther thorne December 15, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    How does Sheron propose we deal with the problem?

    Seems as though identifying that it starts at home is enough to solve the problem or that it is not working overseas. While the grass is growing, the horse is starving. As I have said in other comments , we have relaxed our discipline . If we are not going to punish, we should have measures to discourage. Bring the metal Detectors in schools. The argument that you will not make majority good students suffer because of few bad ones.” is a strange argument. Everyone who is exiting Barbados have to take off their shoes , belts and jewellery and empty their pockets or they can be refused access to a plane seat or a ship passage.

    This thing about it not working overseas , meaning the USA, I suppose, is not a reasoned position either.

  16. Carson C Cadogan December 15, 2017 at 3:52 pm

    Ronald Jones is the Minister of Education not Oral Reid.

  17. harry turnover December 15, 2017 at 4:56 pm

    Jones and wuk up only saying no because he feels that ALL decisions on Schools should come from him and nobody is to have opinions.
    C C C you are right Jones IS the Minister of Education…fa NOW
    When the BEES take over next year METAL DETECTORS WILL BE INSTALLED….and FLY OVERS too.

  18. Belfast December 15, 2017 at 5:44 pm

    Arrogance seems to be the in thing among we Bajans these days. Not long ago I heard a head honcho from the BWA stating that “we do not need outside assistance, we have the expertise here, we only need the equipment.” And look what happened!

  19. Helicopter(8P) December 15, 2017 at 6:20 pm

    Students are getting wise by down loading information off the internet sites. This information can be of good or distructive material instructions on making homemade distructive devices to produce bodily harm and maiming. Body scanners are good tools for curbing violence in public places and learning institutions

  20. Belfast December 15, 2017 at 6:39 pm

    Is this the same man who call some school children Demons? Is this the same man who a few weeks ago touted the changing of the law in order to send wayward students to the Barbados Defence Force, instead of Dodds Jnr, to be taken care of?

  21. Sheron Inniss December 15, 2017 at 8:17 pm

    @ Luther Thorne. So how will the metal detectors solve the problem?

    Do u really believe most of these items are in the children’s bags? Well u need 2 listen to the conversations I hear @ the bus stops.

    Those metal detectors and body scanners will be wukking overtime ’cause they will have to traverse the entire school more than once a day. Add to that the entire perimeter of the said compound.

    Let me use Alexandra as an example. In my time it was an all girls school. Coming up to end of term some of the CP fellows use to be in our classrooms and they did not come through the front gate. Those walls still getting jump all like now.

    I finish with this topic now. I know what I know and I do my research and contrary to popular opinion the USA is not the only country in the world.

    It may be trite but it is true. Train up a child in the way it should go….. and there will be more hits than misses. That is my position.

    Strong wind knows where…..


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