Students welcome metal detectors in school
Reacting to Government's announcement that it plans to install metal detectors in more schools across the island, students and teachers yesterday indicated that they believe the measure will benefit both the schools and their students.
"It would ensure my safety. I don't see a problem with it because it won't impede my studies," said Romario, a student at Tivoli Gardens High School who asked that his full name not be used.
Tivoli is an institution where child-on-child violence has been an issue.
Another student saw the benefit of the measure, but was more concerned about the cost of maintenance.
"That would be costly, especially monthly and yearly maintenance," said Shamarah Coward.
When a teacher was asked about the high priority placed on crime in schools, he stated that, "there is a high level of knives and scissors that are found on school compounds".
Not just for students
Alphonso Christie, a teacher from St George's College, who is also a parent, said he believes that the metal detectors are a step in the right direction, "not just for the students but for adults".
He also said that precautions have to be put in place, in order to ensure effective implementation of the metal detectors.
Education Minister Ronald Thwaites said in Parliament on Tuesday that metal detectors would be placed in all primary and high schools for the upcoming school year as a means of reducing violence in academic institutions.
According to National Security Minister Peter Bunting, "over 600 Jamaican lives have been lost to violence, 39 of which were children", since the start of the year.
Bunting said many cases of child-on-child violence have been occurring, some of which have proven fatal.
Thwaites stated that vending outside of schools is also an issue, as students may gain access to vendors' personal weapons and bring them on to school grounds.
The metal detectors will be used as a means to reduce violence and the movement of weapons on school grounds, and the minister believes it will "improve the atmosphere of peace".
- Jannille Malcolm