Par­ents see­ing to chil­dren’s safety

Jamaica Gleaner - - INTERNATIONAL NEWS -

DUE TO the re­cent se­ries of at­tacks on stu­dents, some par­ents in west­ern Ja­maica are be­ing proac­tive in en­sur­ing their chil­dren’s safety while trav­el­ling to and from school.

Dian Sal­mon, whose son at­tends Corn­wall Col­lege in Mon­tego Bay, said that she reg­u­larly drops him off and picks him up from school.

“I am com­fort­able with my son’s safety be­cause I drop him off and pick him up at school. His school is some­what safe, and he has never ex­pressed safety con­cerns,” she said.

For Sal­mon, the re­spon­si­bil­ity of en­sur­ing the safety of stu­dents while they tra­verse the streets should not be shoul­dered only by the po­lice, but also by the wider so­ci­ety.

“Stu­dent safety is ex­tremely im­por­tant. Par­ents find com­fort know­ing that school of­fi­cials are vig­i­lant and are do­ing all the things nec­es­sary to en­sure that their stu­dents are safe,” said Sal­mon. “We need to go back to the days when the com­mu­nity as­sisted with grow­ing chil­dren... The po­lice can only do so much and no more.”

Belinda Baker, who has chil­dren at­tend­ing Munro Col­lege in St El­iz­a­beth and West­wood High School for Girls in Trelawny, said that they are also picked up and dropped off reg­u­larly. With re­spect to se­cu­rity mea­sures for her daugh­ter at West­wood, she said the school’s strict rules sig­nif­i­cantly re­duce any chances of them be­ing tar­geted by crim­i­nals.

“We have a car and a driver who takes them to school and back. That was the pur­pose for which my hus­band placed a taxi on that route,” said Baker.

I am com­fort­able with my son’s safety be­cause I drop him off and pick him up at school.

THING OF THE PAST

“At West­wood, the se­cu­rity is good, and the dis­ci­pline is okay, too, be­cause they can­not even carry a bag that has writ­ings, just black or navy blue, and their hats must be in place. As it re­lates to phones, they are not per­mit­ted to have one,” Baker said.

Baker, like Sal­mon, sur­mised that the days of “the vil­lage rais­ing a child” ap­peared to be a thing of the past.

“A to­tal change in the mind­set of the cit­i­zens of this coun­try is what is needed. Gone are the days when a com­mu­nity grew its chil­dren,” Baker lamented. “We need to re­store dis­ci­pline and or­der, civic pride, and law and or­der in lowly and high of­fices alike. We need to pro­tect the rights of every ci­ti­zen.”

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