Spe­cial se­cu­rity mea­sures com­ing for stu­dents in St James

Jamaica Gleaner - - NEWS - Jo­van John­son Staff Reporter jo­van.john­son@glean­erjm.com

WITH FEAR spread­ing over the in­ten­si­fi­ca­tion of gun vi­o­lence in Kingston and St James, Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Ruel Reid yes­ter­day said spe­cial se­cu­rity mea­sures are be­ing con­sid­ered to re­duce risks to chil­dren and schools.

He told the Se­nate on Fri­day that the mea­sures would be made pub­lic soon.

“The mat­ter of St James is of con­cern to all of us. I’m not able to give you all the de­tails. I’ll come back to you on what we’re do­ing be­hind the scenes to in­ter­vene. We’ll have to en­sure that we work with the stake­hold­ers in Mon­tego Bay to pro­tect our chil­dren, to pro­tect our staff, to pro­tect our schools,” he said.

Reid con­tin­ued: “We had some is­sues with west Kingston and we worked with the Min­istry of Na­tional Se­cu­rity to put ad­di­tional se­cu­rity in those ar­eas, and con­se­quently, we’re able to have the won­der­ful start to the school year in west Kingston. We in­ter­vened and we demon­strated to the coun­try that we had taken mea­sures to en­sure there were no im­ped­i­ments to stu­dents in their ed­u­ca­tion and get­ting to schools.”

Op­po­si­tion Sen­a­tor Lam­bert Brown re­quested an update on what the min­istry was do­ing to en­sure school and stu­dent safety.


On Mon­day, crim­i­nals chas­ing a man they later killed, shot up a bus trans­port­ing stu­dents to school in St James. Sev­eral stu­dents re­ceived in­juries that were re­port­edly not life threat­en­ing. Later in the week, a pri­mary school in one of the volatile com­mu­ni­ties had to go on lock­down af­ter a shoot-out in­volv­ing crim­i­nals took place nearby. About a month ago, a five-year-old boy was shot and killed in Kingston as gang vi­o­lence raged in some of the cap­i­tal’s in­ner-city com­mu­ni­ties. Mean­while, Reid said ef­forts were un­der way to boost se­cu­rity and safety in schools. He an­nounced that 109 deans of dis­ci­pline were trained in July for place­ment in schools this aca­demic year. Along with that, Reid said 100 po­lice youth clubs have been es­tab­lished in schools and that the Caribbean Mar­itime In­sti­tute cadet corps will be “fully rolled out in five schools”. “This is all in keep­ing with our thrust to im­prove safety, but more im­por­tantly, re­spect for au­thor­ity and the fa­cil­i­ta­tion of pos­i­tive be­hav­iour change,” he told the Se­nate.


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