Thu | Dec 7, 2023

Renewed call to address violence in schools

Published:Tuesday | October 3, 2023 | 12:05 AM


There has been renewed calls and debates about hairstyles in schools, what should and should not be the norm. Meanwhile, issues such as violence prevention, sex education, promiscuity among the young, and other social ills are not adequately addressed.

There should be a balanced approach in tackling the aforementioned issues. There seems to be too much focus on students’ hair and grooming, which has dominated since the reopening of schools. A clear understanding of what is acceptable should have been presented to all stakeholders.

On Thursday, September 28, a student of B.B. Coke High School mercilessly beat another male student for stepping on his seemingly most prized possession – his Clarks shoes.

This is quite repugnant, disturbing, heartbreaking, and leaves much to ponder about the state of the society we live in and how the children are being raised. The attention should now be on how do we gear our children to a gentler, kinder, society. It cannot be that violence is the first resort; children should be taught conflict resolution. Again, the home is the first school. The school environment does not and cannot provide all the answers.

On introspection, the relevant authorities should bring back the Attitude and Values Programme which was launched by former Prime Minister P.J. Patterson in 1994, which served to promote attitudinal change and social renewal. A call should also be made for civics being a part of the curriculum in all schools, in order to enhance pride in self and one’s country.

Commendation to the boys who helped the badly injured student in getting him transported to a medical facility. Commendations too to the ministers of education and youth and health and wellness, Fayval Williams and Dr Christopher Tufton, respectively, who stepped in and expeditiously sought the service of an ambulance for the student to be transferred to the University Hospital of the West Indies, where he is currently undergoing treatment. They have also expressed their commitment in providing the support needed for full recovery.

We wish for this student a speedy recovery and continued show of support to him and his family.

In all of this, all is not lost; together we can make a difference.