Officials troubled by threats to students outside of school
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.