JIS News

Minister of Education, Hon. Andrew Holness, has condemned yesterday’s (Oct. 21) fatal stabbing of 17-year- old Ferncourt High School student, Garron Jones.
He said he was “very disappointed and very disturbed” by the incident, which took place on the grounds of the school based in St. Ann.
The Minister, who was speaking to journalists at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston yesterday, expressed condolence to the family of the slain student. “My heart goes out to the parents of that student that was killed,” he said.
Mr. Holness told journalists that the Ministry was still trying to ascertain the circumstances surrounding the death, but made it clear that “security is always one of my top priorities for schools.”
He stated that the Ministry was working closely with the Ministry of National Security to curb and respond to the acts of violence that are occurring within schools.
“The Ministry of National Security and the Ministry of Education, we are now very close to signing a MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) as to exactly how both Ministries will proceed to deal with matters of safety and security in schools,” he said, adding that efforts have to be “redoubled” in tackling the problem.
The MoU will complement measures already underway to promote and ensure safety within schools, including the use of metal detectors. “We have provided metal detectors, I would think, for all high schools by now. It is management of the use of the metal detectors… so the principal will decide how often or which teacher will use it,” Minister Holness pointed out.
He stressed that all principals and teachers must continue to search students for weapons and urged that schools seek to build a relationship with their local police personnel in conducting searches.
The Minister also appealed to parents to check their children for weapons. “I take the opportunity to appeal to parents, check your children, see what they are taking to school,” he said.
Minister Holness is expected to visit Ferncourt High later today (Oct. 22).

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