State Minister Urges Teachers to Ensure their Safety

Photo: Barbara Ellington Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security, Senator the Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr., with Guidance Counsellors at Hampton School in St. Elizabeth (from left) Kayon Whyne and Shellion Rowe, when he addressed the school’s Safety and Security Staff Sensitisation Workshop on February 1.

Story Highlights

  • Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security, Senator the Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr., has exhorted teachers of Hampton School in St. Elizabeth to ensure the safety of themselves and their communities.
  • The State Minister reminded them that their role was not just to give information, but also to protect themselves while creating an environment in which the next generation would grow.
  • Senator Charles Jr. told the teachers that the island’s 12,000 policemen and women could not police the entire population of 2.7 million, adding that the Ministry of National Security would work with the Ministry of Education to ensure that safety and security plans are rolled out in all schools.

Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security, Senator the Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr., has exhorted teachers of Hampton School in St. Elizabeth to ensure the safety of themselves and their communities.

“Taking charge of your security means taking responsibility for it and this will show by example to your students what it means to be alert and aware,” Senator Charles Jr. said.

He was speaking at the school’s Safety and Security Staff Sensitisation Workshop, held at the institution on February 2 under the theme: ‘Taking Charge: Your Career, Your Life, Your Safety’.

The State Minister reminded them that their role was not just to give information, but also to protect themselves while creating an environment in which the next generation would grow.

Senator Charles Jr. told the teachers that the island’s 12,000 policemen and women could not police the entire population of 2.7 million, adding that the Ministry of National Security would work with the Ministry of Education to ensure that safety and security plans are rolled out in all schools.

“If all citizens are dedicated to creating a safer Jamaica, this will be the only way to make us safe. We want to be where everybody gets on board to make it happen. That is where we want Jamaica to be – you must be part of the solution to crime,” he urged.

The State Minister lauded the initiative of establishing the Critical Incident Response Plan (CIRP), and encouraged teachers to practise it, because it was not only what they said, but also what they did, such as fire drills and using extinguishers; and using other safety and security items that would encourage the students to follow their example.

“I urge you to understand it, disseminate it to the students and continue this engagement. I will be available to help you and make my office available to give you all the information you need,” Senator Charles Jr. said.

He also told the teachers and other Hampton stakeholders about the recently introduced Stay Alert App, describing it as having a personal bodyguard on their phones.

The State Minister said that if they were in danger, they should press the panic button, but cautioned against doing so simply to test it.

Hampton School’s emergency response plan is comprised of a three-tiered approach – recognising, activating and memorising or (RAM). Using this plan, staff and students will be able to identify when a critical incident may happen, was about to happen or had just occurred.

They would then activate the plan to remain calm, assess the situation, secure the area, raise an alarm, attend to the injured, render first-aid, prevent further injury, direct persons to the assembly point, conduct roll calls and facilitate counselling, intervention as well as restore normality.

The incident would then be properly documented and all relevant personnel notified in order to bring it to a close and guide future planning for such incidents.

Also participating in the workshop were the school Principal, Heather Murray; the police, school nurse, guidance counsellor, house mother, ancillary staff and members of the island’s emergency services.

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