Government to Implement Strong Measures to Deal With Crime and Violence in Schools


The Ministry of Education, working with the support of the Ministry of National Security and the police, are examining alternative ways to provide education for dysfunctional children whose behaviour is considered to be disruptive and dangerous to the school environment.
Addressing a meeting of principals, vice principals and senior education officers, from across the island, at Jamaica House this afternoon, (Nov 21) Prime Minister Bruce Golding, said this might call for new legislation and changes to the Ministry of Education’s code to empower school administrators to have more authority within their institutions.
The meeting heard expressions of serious concern by the principals about the increasing incidents of crime and fear among the student population. They also put forward a number of proposals to address their concerns.
Responding to the issues raised, the Minister of Education, Andrew Holness, said the Government will be creating a post of Dean of Discipline, and will continue the fencing of schools to make the schools safer. The creation of safe zones for schools and the difficulties some schools were having with vending and other activities that compromise the safety of these institutions, were also addressed. Prime Minister Golding has given a commitment to discuss with mayors, the need to regulate vending in school zones.
Commissioner of Police, Rear Admiral Hardley Lewin, told the meeting of the immediate and medium term initiatives being put in place by the police. These include an increase in the number of District Constables to be Resource Officers for schools, increase in mobile patrols in and around schools and transport centres. The District Constables are to be outfitted in special uniforms, for easy identification as School Resource Officers. The police will be working closely with school administrators to tighten security measures in schools and streets where children are vulnerable.
The Prime Minister noted that the police are revamping and implementing new ways to fight crime, based on the new challenges facing the society.

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