Mon | Dec 5, 2022

Letter of the Day | How do we stop armed and dangerous students

Published:Monday | October 3, 2022 | 12:05 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Thursday’s stabbing death of a female student at Kingston Technical High School represents an increase in the number of murders in our school system since January 2022. On March 17, 16 year old Kamal Hall, 10th-grade student of William Knibb Memorial High School in Trelawny was allegedly stabbed to death by his schoolmate over a “guard ring”. We cannot continue to lose our future leaders by senseless killings that could have been prevented.

As a former member of the Jamaica Constabulary Force and now a United States soldier, I strongly recommend the use of district constables to perform school safety agent duties within our schools. These duties include, but are not limited to, monitoring metal detectors at entrances, responding to fights, working along with security guards to maintain strict surveillance of persons and vehicles that enter and leave school compounds, assist with investigation of school rules violations and conduct high-visibility patrols of school compounds. Of great importance school safety agents will not be oppressors, but will be a positive presence where they have sessions with students, engage in sporting activities, and work closely with school administrators to maintain peace and order.

Similarly, I recommend that the Ministry of National Security and Ministry of Education partner to establish a highly trained and professional unit within the Jamaica Constabulary Force, where these school safety agents will be assigned. District Constables should undergo extensive training at National Police College of Jamaica in less lethal, human rights, conflict resolution and conflict mediation before appointed as school safety gents. This could be achieved by utilising the National Police College of Jamaica.

The continual stabbing in our schools underscore the fact that our students, teachers and ancillary staff are not safe. This implementation could also create job opportunities for many of our unattached youths and could be an option for members of the Jamaica National Service Corps when they complete their contracts and decide to find employment elsewhere.

Condolences to the family and friends of the murdered female student. There is nothing wrong with Jamaica that cannot be fixed by Jamaica.

QUENTON NELSON