JIS News

The Happy Grove High School in Portland is moving to address problems of indiscipline at the institution.
Recently, more that 30 students from grades seven to 10, benefitted from a four-day Behaviour Change workshop, organised by the institution’s Guidance and Counselling Department.
Under the theme: ‘I Want To Change, Help Me,’ the event featured presentations from resources persons, discussion sessions, and students participated in role-play to demonstrate what they had learnt from the presentations.
Principal of the School, Cheryl Shippey, told JIS News that statistics at the end of the school year showed that a high number of students were punished for acts of indiscipline, with some of them being repeat offenders.
“It was decided by the school that some sort of intervention programme was needed to sensitise and assist these students,” she said.
She expressed confidence that the workshop and other interventions will achieve the objective of helping students re-direct their lives on a positive path. “I see some hope for these students and as principal, I want to continue to work with them because the solution is not to get them out of the school. The solution is to help them to become better citizens,” she stated.
Sub-Officer in Charge of the Police Community, Safety and Security Branch at the Port Antonio Police Station, Corporal Julio Francis, who addressed the students on ‘Conflict Resolution and the Importance of Discipline,’ expressed confidence that the intervention will achieve the desired results.
“We are certain these students will make a difference, come September,” he added.
Donna Hall, mother of a student, who attended the workshop, commended the school for initiating such a “good programme” to assist her child. “Sometimes, they need to hear how to conduct themselves from other people, not just parents alone,” she told JIS News.
Student Valin Powell, who also participated in the workshop, said he had learnt a lot from the discussions. “I have learnt ways of resolving conflicts without getting angry,” he said. Valin said his focus will now be on getting a good education and “to make the world a better place.”
Corporal Francis, in the meantime, informed that the Community Safety Branch will be partnering with the Child Development Agency’s (CDA) Port Antonio office to host a similar workshop during the third week of August.
He said that more than 70 young people drawn from schools, youth clubs, CDA programmes, and other community groups, are expected to attend.
He reminded parents, teachers and other members of the public that officers at the Community Safety Branch, located at the Royal Mall, Shop #23 in Port Antonio, were “ready and able to offer their services when needed.”

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