Fri | May 24, 2019

Parents seeing to children's safety

Published:Tuesday | November 29, 2016 | 12:00 AM

Due to the recent series of attacks on students, some parents in western Jamaica are being proactive in ensuring their children's safety while travelling to and from school.

Dian Salmon, whose son attends Cornwall College in Montego Bay, said that she regularly drops him off and picks him up from school.

"I am comfortable with my son's safety because I drop him off and pick him up at school. His school is somewhat safe, and he has never expressed safety concerns," she said.

For Salmon, the responsibility of ensuring the safety of students while they traverse the streets should not be shouldered only by the police, but also by the wider society.

"Student safety is extremely important. Parents find comfort knowing that school officials are vigilant and are doing all the things necessary to ensure that their students are safe," said Salmon. "We need to go back to the days when the community assisted with growing children... The police can only do so much and no more."

Belinda Baker, who has children attending Munro College in St Elizabeth and Westwood High School for Girls in Trelawny, said that they are also picked up and dropped off regularly. With respect to security measures for her daughter at Westwood, she said the school's strict rules significantly reduce any chances of them being targeted by criminals.

"We have a car and a driver who takes them to school and back. That was the purpose for which my husband placed a taxi on that route," said Baker.




"At Westwood, the security is good, and the discipline is okay, too, because they cannot even carry a bag that has writings, just black or navy blue, and their hats must be in place. As it relates to phones, they are not permitted to have one," Baker said.

Baker, like Salmon, surmised that the days of "the village raising a child" appeared to be a thing of the past.

"A total change in the mindset of the citizens of this country is what is needed. Gone are the days when a community grew its children," Baker lamented. "We need to restore discipline and order, civic pride, and law and order in lowly and high offices alike. We need to protect the rights of every citizen."