Fri | Oct 20, 2017

Keep children out of politics - Opposition

Published:Thursday | September 24, 2015 | 2:06 PM
Johnson Smith ... It is sad that the death of a child has been caught up in what is clearly an internal political war - and the sorrow that her family and school friends must be going through has been impacted by issues which have nothing to do with the best interests of a child

The Opposition Spokesperson on Education and Youth Senator Kamina Johnson Smith wants adults to keep young children out of politics.

Her appeal follows the death of 11-year-old Akeila Lewis of the Prickly Pole Primary School in St Ann.

She died last week as students were preparing to board a bus to be transported to the scene of what is being regarded as a political demonstration.

"It is sad that the death of a child has been caught up in what is clearly an internal political war - and the sorrow that her family and school friends must be going through has been impacted by issues which have nothing to do with the best interests of a child," Johnson Smith said.

"People need to recognise that children should not be involved in protests, whether political or otherwise and persons - especially school personnel, who participate in this kind of practise, should be held accountable."

The Education Minister Ronald Thwaites has fired the school board chairman Vinette Robb Oddman for her handling of the situation.

READ: Education minister fires Prickly Pole Primary chairman

In the meantime, Johnson-Smith said with allegations and counter-allegations being made, the police should be permitted to conclude their investigations, as well as the independent Office of the Children's Advocate.

READ: Prickly Pole chairman's dismissal angers community, residents block roads

"I believe strongly that while the Ministers of Education and Youth both would normally have appropriate roles in matters such as this, by virtue of their actions and those of their agents, the CDA and Ministry of Education's investigations appear to have been compromised," the Opposition spokesperson said.