JIS News

Two schools in Clarendon, Central High and Bustamante High, which have piloted the implementation of a Safe Schools Programme in the parish, are reporting success with the initiative.
Assistant Co-ordinator of the Clarendon programme, Constable Odale Mulgrave told JIS News that the project has been successful in tackling four main problems at the schools – use of narcotics, possession of offensive weapons by students, truancy, and intrusion onto the school campuses by outsiders.
“I believe we have been able to tackle these problems primarily through the use of lectures, counselling and constant patrolling of the school compounds. We visit the schools, and find out what problems the students are facing. We provide counselling for both students who are victimized and students who are considered to be offenders. For offenders in particular, we find out what the problem is and if there is a situation at home, we do a home visit, and speak to the parents. If it is a very serious case, we place the name of the student on an incident report card and continue with follow-up visits,” he explained.
Constable Mulgrave pointed out that Police intervention at the two schools has yielded a total of 34 offensive weapons, including 17 knives, and they have resolved about 22 altercations, which involved the arrest of 5 adults.
He told JIS News that there are three School Resource Officers, a Co-ordinator and himself working with the programme in the schools.
This programme seeks to address undesirable and anti social behaviour and violence in schools.
The two schools have joined 60 other schools across Jamaica since September last year, that have implemented the Safe Schools Programme, a collaborative effort between the Ministries of Education and National Security.
Some 810 students at the Bustamante High and about 1,400 students at Central High are benefiting from the programme.
The programme has also assisted at least two students, with Officers soliciting funds to pay for examination fees.
The programme is being carried out under the theme: ‘Making your learning environment safer’.