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JTA condemns recent murders of school community members

Published:Sunday | May 5, 2019 | 12:00 AMChristopher Thomas /Gleaner Writer
President of the Jamaica Teachers' Association Dr Garth Anderson


The Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA) has strongly condemned the recent murders of students Shantae Skyers and Tricia Morris and lecturer Samuel Martin, and is calling on Jamaica to provide greater advocacy against crime and violence.
JTA President Dr Garth Anderson made the call while addressing the JTA’s divine service at the Mt Ward Methodist Church in Hanover today. The service was to mark the launch of Education Week 2019, which is being held under the theme: “Empowering educators: Retooling, innovating, networking for sustainable development.”
“It would be remiss of me not to use this opportunity to condemn the recent vicious attacks and killings of students Shantae Skyers from Red Hills Primary in St Andrew, and Tricia Morris from Watford Hill Primary in Hanover, as well as lecturer Samuel Martin from St Joseph’s Teachers’ College (in Kingston). We express sincere condolences to the immediate families and school communities,” said Anderson.
“As we lament these acts of violence, as a profession and as a nation, we must take a stance against those who seek to do harm to us and our loved ones. We must make our voices be heard louder and become active participants in the process of finding justice.”
Eight-year-old Shantae Skyers was found murdered in bushes in Sterling Castle Heights, St Andrew on April 16. Her body was found following a five-day search, after she disappeared the previous Thursday while returning home from school, and there were signs she may have been molested.
Fourteen days later, on April 30, the body of 11-year-old Tricia Morris, who hailed from Pond, Hanover, was found with multiple injuries and signs of sexual trauma. She had last been seen alive the previous Saturday, on her way to church.
In between those discoveries, the education sector was rocked by the murder of Samuel Martin, whose decomposing body was found in the community of Juno Crescent in May Pen, Clarendon on April 25. He was an English lecturer in the Language Arts Department at St Joseph’s Teachers’ College.
In the meantime, while addressing today’s church service, deputy opposition spokesman on education Michael Stewart called for children to be protected and better enabled to develop their confidence.

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