Mandeville gets proactive with playing equipment
Angelo Laurence, Gleaner Writer
Playing field equipment at schools in Mandeville have been coming under heavy scrutiny by school personnel as well as councillor for the Mandeville division, Sally Porteous.
This comes following the death of a student of Sts Peter and Paul Preparatory School in St Andrew on March 17, as well as that of a seven-year-old Westmoreland student in January.
Both died as a result of goal posts falling on them.
Porteous told The Gleaner that she has started visiting schools in the Mandeville division to ensure that playing field equipment are properly secured and are being utilised in a safe and supervised manner. Porteous said the recent tragic incidents should be a wake-up call to parents, teachers, coaches and administrators, which "should not be ignored".
She said a regime of rigorous inspection of every piece of equipment used by students in schools should be put in place and enforced so that nothing of the sort ever happens again.
Principal of Manchester High School Jasford Gabriel told The Gleaner that safety on the school compound was always a top priority. He said that in light of the recent events, his administration has stepped up inspection and supervision of playing-field equipment at the school. Gabriel said that goal posts which are anchored in the ground, will be dismantled and re-configured so they can be stored when not in use.
At Belair High School on deCarteret Road, all equipment on the playing field have been independently inspected and cleared, said Teyna Bennett, the school's operations manager. Similar steps have been taken by principal of the Mandeville Primary and Junior High School, Byron Farquharson.