Tue | Jul 16, 2019

Antigua gov't discusses bullying in schools

Published:Saturday | June 22, 2019 | 11:00 AM

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua, CMC – The Antigua and Barbuda government says it establishing a Boot Camp as it examined the phenomenon of bullying in schools.

A Cabinet statement noted that the matter the recent expulsion accorded two boys who were taped in a choking/bullying incident had also been discussed.

“It was agreed that a Boot Camp of sorts can be established to ensure that treatment of the troubled youth can commence immediately after expulsion. Fearing that those who are expelled may later become a challenge for the society, the Cabinet held a vigorous discussion on alternative treatments that can be accorded these boys and other students who are a problem for normal schooling,” the statement said.

It noted that the law requires continuing formal education until age 16 years and as a result “any boy or girl younger than 16 years must continue to receive formal education.

“It was agreed that many can be trained to procure building skills, including plumbing, carpentry, masonry, electrical and tiling, auto mechanical repair and other kinds of skills that can be strengthened in a very short period. Construction is now booming and that is likely to continue for the foreseeable future.

“Three new professionals, including two psychologists and a psychiatrist, are likely to be hired to work with those who pose a problem in school to other students, and those who are expelled,” the statement said.

It said that Cabinet also decided that the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Social transformation and the Ministry of Education “will work together to minimise whatever negative impacts that the difficult students may inflict”.