UPP Calls for enhanced security at schools

Against the background of increasing violence among school children, a political candidate has called for security to be urgently enhanced at the island’s educational institutions to ensure the safety of both students and teachers.

United Progressive Party (UPP) candidate for St Michael North, Maria Phillips, a lecturer in dispute resolution at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Cave Hill Campus, has also urged education authorities to make conflict resolutions part of classroom studies.

Phillips said her party was particularly concerned about school children, noting that given the proliferation of social media, incidents in which students inflicted violence on their peers were being shared with a wide public, both local and overseas.

“We are not oblivious to social factors which have contributed to violent and aggressive behaviour of our nation’s youth. The United Progressive Party is therefore advocating the need for conflict resolution skills to be integrated within school programmes,” she said.

“In addition, we believe that parent teacher associations may be able to work in collaboration with community organizations to enhance training for all – teachers, students and parents.”

Pointing out the serious nature of the offences being committed by students, Phillips stressed that new ways of enhancing security at the nation’s schools had to be urgently found to reduce violent incidents and, ultimately, prevent loss of life.

“We must never allow for the creation of an environment where children are afraid to attend school, or those who take public transportation are in some way endangered due to the lawless behaviour of other children,” the UPP candidate said.

Phillips said ensuring that each child has adequate opportunities to learn and excel must remain a priority for all concerned, while acts of violence which affect all students are eliminated.

2 Responses to UPP Calls for enhanced security at schools

  1. Freeagent February 13, 2018 at 7:25 am

    It will be a difficult task to enhance security at our schools because children use the skills which they learn from the electronic/social media to trick us adults. Children do not bring the weapons through the school gate, they hand them to their accomplices over the wall/fence.
    If parents/adults were to take the time to have discussions with school children they would be aware of the various tricks/methods that these children use to detract us. Communication is important.

  2. Adrian Hinds February 13, 2018 at 9:44 am

    We must deal with this sensibly – this is nothing new. I am 52 years old, born and raised in the “country,” and attended both primary and secondary schools in Bridgetown. There were many days I was fearful of going to school in both primary and secondary schools due to threats of violence.

    In secondary school I recall many evenings having to hightail up Richmond gap to get on the 3pm route 2 bus out of the Princess Alice bus-stand to avoid the fellas from the Orleans that had threaten to beat up this “country boy,” and just in case I got jump on the short trip to the bus stop on president Kennedy drive I would arm myself with a broken desk or chair leg or some other implement of protection, and there were times when I had to share licks and “tek” some too. 

    Another incident occurred in the then newly minted science labs were I was on the receiving end of a recurring bullying incident; I sought to protect myself -really my intent was to scare the perpetrator into inaction – with a broken beer bottle.

    These events all had good ends, but I just wanted to remind readers that while we must always strive to do more to create and sustain a non-violent environment in our schools these events are not only now occurring.


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