Of­fi­cials trou­bled by threats to stu­dents out­side of school

Jamaica Gleaner - - OPINION&COMMENTARY - Jodi-Ann Gilpin Gleaner Writer >> See full story at www.ja­maica­gleaner.com

WHILE THERE has been a de­cline in in­ci­dents of vi­o­lence in schools, an emerg­ing trend of stu­dents be­ing at­tacked out­side of learn­ing in­sti­tu­tions is caus­ing great worry for of­fi­cials at the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion.

As­sis­tant Su­per­in­ten­dent of Po­lice Co­leridge Minto, di­rec­tor of safety and se­cu­rity in schools at the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion, Youth and In­for­ma­tion, told The Gleaner that stu­dents have been en­coun­ter­ing dan­ger­ous in­ci­dents that will re­quire ur­gent so­lu­tions.

“There has been a gen­eral de­cline of vi­o­lence and crit­i­cal in­ci­dents in schools since 2012. The fig­ures are still trending down­wards in schools. How­ever, at­tacks on stu­dents out­side of school re­main a ma­jor con­cern,” Minto said in an emailed re­sponse to queries from The Gleaner.

“Since the start of this school year, we have re­ceived only a few re­ports of in-school vi­o­lence. Al­most all the mat­ters that are be­ing dis­cussed are mat­ters of stu­dents be­ing at­tacked while trav­el­ling to, or from, school. The mat­ters re­late to at­tacks on stu­dents out­side of school.”

He said bus parks, trans­port cen­tres, and other pop­u­lar ar­eas for large gath­er­ings are pos­ing the great­est risks for school­child­ren.

“There have been stu­dents who have been robbed in and around the Half-Way Tree area and trans­port cen­tre. So we are con­cerned as stu­dents travel to, and from, schools, as well as the pub­lic spa­ces that they oc­cupy wait­ing for trans­porta­tion, such as at bus parks,” he said.


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