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Stabroek News

Protests close schools in Trelawny
published: Tuesday | December 5, 2006

Richard Morais, Gleaner Writer

FALMOUTH, Trelawny:

Protests by residents of Martha Brae, Trelawny against the bad condition of the Carib Road in the community resulted in four schools closing their doors yesterday.

The schools were William Knibb High, Holland High, Dennis Tobin Preparatory and Caldean Preparatory.

While the roadblocks could be negotiated on foot and the distance from the first roadblock to the schools was within walking range, school officials said the children's security could not be guaranteed, resulting in the closures.

Boulders, old appliances

The protest started around 6:00 a.m. when huge trees were felled and used to block the road. An old car, old appliances along with boulders were also used. The road was blocked at five places and, up to late yesterday afternoon, it was still blocked.

One of the protesters, Ridel Reid, said: "For the 20 years I am living here this is the worst the road has ever been."

According to Member of Parliament for the area, Dr. Patrick Harris, "repairs had started but, because of the rains, this had to be stopped, however the road is to be resurfaced."

Dr. Harris, who said the road was the responsibility of the parish council which would be better able to comment, said he was angry with the protesters for stopping school.

"Many parents send their children to school knowing that they will be protected in school," he said. "It is irresponsible to protest in this manner to close school and cause the children to be unprotected on the street."

No repair plan

Falmouth Mayor Jonathan Bartley said he knew of no comprehensive plan to repair the road.

It is uncertain whether the protest will continue today, but a heavy police presence is expected in the area.

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