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Minister of National Security, Sen. the Hon. Dwight Nelson, yesterday joined forces with the Ministry of Education to launch the inaugural School’s Security and Safety month under the theme “ School Security and Safety is Everybody’s Business”. 

Security and Safety month aims to drive awareness around the problem of violence in schools and the strategies to reduce same. 

During the launch at Jamaica House yesterday morning, Minister Nelson pointed out that the charge is to get back to the days of schools being a place of refuge and safety. 

 He stressed the need for the right mix of hard and soft core approaches to address violence in schools.

According to Senator Nelson statistics indicate that 341 juveniles are currently in correctional facilities.

He noted that there is need to address school violence before it matriculates into the wider society and vice versa.

“I am cognizant of schools being microcosms of the wider society. In some communities there are enclaves of conflict, of violence, of gang warfare, killing, violence using all kinds of brutal weaponry and invariably this type of unacceptable behavior in the wider society finds its way into the schools…and we have to destroy this” the Minister said.

The National Security Minister indicated that there is an urgent need for past students of varied institutions to go into schools and motivate and encourage students.  

He also stressed the importance of successful persons from inner cities in particular, going back into these communities and talk with persons to give them hope and show them that there is a better way.

Supporting the Minister’s sentiments, Education Minister Hon. Andrew Holness indicated that his Ministry through the Security and Safety   policy has been ensuring that schools, more than any other institution in society-upholds and promotes the law. 

According to Minister Holness, a major aspect of this policy is the inclusion of school security as a part of the school’s management functions.  

There are other strategies implemented by the Ministry of Education which forges the ‘hard and soft core approaches’.  These include: presence of 97 Deans of Disciplines in high schools island wide; JCF School Resource Officers; installation of metal detectors; prohibition of contrabands including cell phones; zero tolerance towards violent acts and the utilization of a graded offence scheme.   

Schools Safety and Security Month will continue with a church service on Sunday, March 6, 2011 among other activities.

 

Issued by: The Ministry of National Security