Letter of the Day | Arm teachers, give them powers of arrest
THE EDITOR, Sir:
The wrong people always put themselves up to lead organisations like the National Parent-Teacher Association of Jamaica. So it is not surprising they are against teachers who are licensed firearm holders taking their weapon to school.
The minister of education supports them, but the Jamaica Teachers' Association, validated by the Education Code of Regulations of 1980 (admittedly requiring urgent revision for many other reasons), doesn't.
How does it follow that a teacher, who is responsible enough to teach your child what you cannot teach him/her and be the custodian of that child, who QUALIFIED to be issued a firearm licence, just as he/she did to teach and have custody of your child, threatens the safety of your child by being lawfully in possession of this weapon at the workplace?
Schools are now hostile environments made so by the very same poorly parented (often left out of the dialogue) and socialised children, and violent parents and other adults who daily present at the schools to assault teachers and students with hardly any time for rescue by the police! That armed teacher, more than posing a danger, is in a better position to ensure the safety of your child at school.
POWERS OF ARREST
Now that the use of the strap is outlawed, it is imperative for some teachers to be strapped! They should also be vested with the powers of arrest of school district constables and dispense with the ineffective Safe Schools Programme.
The NPTAJ should busy itself about lobbying for those changes rather than be making populist pronouncements and will live to regret this if it fails to support the sensible stance of the JTA. It cannot use the unavoidable occasional aberrations, which, in any case, the offender will be brought to account for, to institute this nonsense!
By the way, the minister of education is a politician, so even he will have to be cited for giving populism pre-eminence over pragmatism. The NPTAJ must act genuinely in the best interest of our children.
HYLTON W. DENNIS
Mona, Kingston 7