MONTEGO BAY — Minister of Education, Hon Andrew Holness, wants the full force of the law applied to students guilty of violence against teachers.
He was speaking to the media on Wednesday (May 25), during a visit to the Cambridge High School, St. James. The school was the scene of an altercation between a male teacher and a group of students a week earlier, during which the teacher was physically abused and had to seek medical attention
Mr. Holness described the attack on the teacher as a criminal assault, which should be treated as such.
“I want to say to those students who attacked the teacher that I hope that the full force of the law is brought to bear on them. We cannot afford a trend to develop, because of lax application of the law,” he stated.
“It is an assault, a criminal assault and should be treated as such, and I hope that the police treat the matter with seriousness, and that the courts take the most severe punishment that could be given for that crime,” he stated.
He noted that the policy in the Ministry of Education was quite clear, that what is illegal in the society is also illegal in schools.
Following meetings with the principal, board chairman, teachers and general staff of the Cambridge High School, Mr. Holness had high praise for the teaching staff of the institution, noting that their commitment was evident.
“I am very pleased that the teaching staff, regardless of what happened with the attack on the teacher, remains committed. I was very impressed with the teachers, and particularly impressed with the teacher who was attacked,” he said.
He explained that his intervention was intended to clarify the commitment of the Ministry of Education, and its determination to ensure that none of the nation’s schools fail. He also encouraged the teachers to continue to keep faith.
By Bryan Miller, JIS Reporter