Fri | Aug 18, 2017

Schools turned into war zones

Published:Friday | April 14, 2017 | 4:29 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:
An 11-year-old boy had a dispute with a friend, and it ended up resulting in the partial decapitation of a 14-year-old. In effect, two lives may have ended on that sad day.

It is no secret that Jamaica's flirtations with a violent and murderous subculture has had an indelible impact on the nation's young and most vulnerable. Not only are they victims, they are transformed into perpetrators. Not only are they murdered, they become murderers.

We must not accept this state of affairs as the new normal. It goes without saying that action is required to stem this tide, and one area in which we can possibly make significant inroads is the arena of education.

The current divide which sees a majority of students (and parents) vying for spaces in traditional high schools to the detriment of non-traditional schools has effectively contributed to a kind of apartheid education system.

This atmosphere then in turn results in the job of educators becoming more difficult, especially as it relates to discipline among students. This state of affairs provides a ripe opportunity for the re-evaluation of the education ministry's reactive policy towards discipline in schools.

Effective means must be devised so as to ensure that students who are exposed to a murderous and violent culture do not seek to perpetrate this behaviour on school campuses.

NOEL MATHERSON

noelmatherson@gmail.com