The Ministry of Education has announced that police officers are to be temporarily posted at 15 schools across the country, in response to instances of violence.
It comes in response to a widely shared video on social media which shows two female students fighting despite the attempts by staff to break up the incident.
“The current School Discipline Matrix relies on suspension from school as one of its most severe consequences for indiscipline- however, this no longer serves as a deterrent for many of the repeat offenders. In fact, being suspended from school is seen as a badge of honour, and in many cases, allows them freedom to engage in other activities, many of which are negative,” the Ministry said in a statement on Thursday.
“A trend also observed is the fact that making contact with the parents of the repeat offenders is often very difficult for school officials, and those parents generally do not attend the various parenting seminars and other developmental programmes hosted by the Student Support Services at the schools,” it added.
Community Police have been assigned to each of the 15 Secondary Schools where violence incidents have been seen to be most prevalent. These schools also have dedicated Guidance Councillors and School Social Workers.
“At this time, based on the number of violent incidents which have taken place both inside and outside of these school compounds over the last two days, the Ministry of Education consulted with both the Ministry of National Security and the Commissioner of Police to discuss an immediate response to incidents of school violence, pending the recommendations of the inter-ministerial committee. The outcome was a letter of formal request from the Ministry of Education to the Commissioner of Police for advice on the procedure for removing violent students from the school environment to one which can offer them rehabilitative services.”
The TTPS has also been asked to immediately provide patrols directly outside of the schools in question, as well as in their vicinity, at the close of the school day, to deter students from violent outbursts.