Sun | Jul 21, 2019

Teacher killers are cowards, says Terrelonge

Published:Friday | May 10, 2019 | 12:29 AMChristopher Thomas/Gleaner Writer
Alando Terrelonge, state minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information.
Alando Terrelonge, state minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information.

WESTERN BUREAU:

Alando Terrelonge, state minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, says the recent murders of teachers Clevon Campbell and Samuel Martin have robbed the educational system of two educators at a time when there is a glaring need for more male teachers in the classroom.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of yesterday’s Jamaica Teachers’ Association’s Helen Stills Professional Development Day in Montego Bay, Terrelonge described the killing of the educators as acts of cowardice.

“These acts are cowardly, dastardly acts committed against two of the vanguards of the hope and prosperity of our nation, and we must speak out against it,” said Terrelonge. “I want us to never forget the work of Clevon Campbell and Samuel Martin, for they served to make an impact on the lives of all Jamaicans in an era when we speak of the shortage of male teachers.

“When we’re trying to get more male teachers in the classroom, we have these cowards in our streets snuffing out the lives of the very same male teachers who are providing a good example of positive male role models for our nation’s children. It’s a sad day for all teachers and all of Jamaica when these perpetrators are allowed to commit these acts against our teachers,” added Terrelonge.

Clevon Campbell, a 35-year-old grade six volunteer teacher at Belmont Park Primary School in St Catherine, was shot during a home invasion at his Portmore residence on Wednesday morning. His nephew was also shot and injured during the incident.

Two weeks ago, the decomposing body of 41-year-old Samuel Martin, a lecturer at St Joseph’s Teachers’ College in Kingston, was found in May Pen, Clarendon. Martin was last seen alive on Good Friday.

According to Terrelonge, male teachers serve as positive male role models for children whose fathers are not playing that role in their lives.

“Our boys do not have sufficient male role models in our society, and if we cannot get fathers to live up to their responsibilities in the home for our young men and women, then we have to rely on male teachers to give them that example,” said Terrelonge.