Editorial

NO SHORT-TERM FIX FOR SCHOOL VIOLENCE

NO SHORT-TERM FIX FOR SCHOOL VIOLENCE

It’s officially back-to-school as of yesterday. The characteristics that accompany a return to the classrooms, traffic and all, also made an unwelcomed return. With the final term of the academic year commencing, it’s crunch time for those students in the hot seats, i.e. those sitting CXC O-Level, CAPE and SEA examinations over the next several weeks.
Education comes to fore not only around this time, though. Sadly, it’s usually for all the wrong reasons. That school violence is at an unprecedented high is no secret, but what we are doing about it is seemingly under a cloak. We see too often videos on social media with school violence both in the classroom and out on the streets, with the students featured showing no respect nor fear towards their peers, teachers and sometimes even the police. A baffling and frightening reality, especially knowing that this is the next generation of adults, albeit only a percentage.
Education Minister Anthony Garcia indicated that the Community Policing Unit will now be more involved in an attempt to repress the level of school violence. A local newspaper reported that there are plans to have this faction of the Police tackle acts of violence that occur outside the school compound.
While we understand the need for immediate action towards the recalcitrant youththat plague our school system, we are of the view that much more needs to be done from a proactive standpoint. The utilization of Community Police to put a stranglehold on the issue is only the figurative plaster on the sore. We’ve all seen proof that some teenagers show no regard for police officers so why should we think it would be any different now? Are we going to see officers outside every school or within every town centre or hotspot than is home to a flock of children after school hours? Of course not. The approach may be one forced upon us and we do not blame the goodly Minister, but we have to remember this problem has not festered itself overnight.
All scholars have attested to the role that family, biological or otherwise, has played in their success. This includes the inculcation of good values and respect for the law. The problem we face with school violence is also deeply imbedded in a lack of proper valuesinstilled in the home, the absence of mentors in and out of the school framework and the removal of disciplinary action in all forms in the school, as contentious as it may be.
These are minds that absorb whatsoever society throws at it, good and bad. To rectify this mess that we find ourselves in would take no short time and concerted effort. But to start, we must. And home is where that start must be made.

Web Master

April 17th, 2018

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