Don't blame Kingston Technical administration for stabbing - Williams
Minister of Education, Fayval Williams is appealing to the public not to cast blame on the Kingston Technical High School administration over the stabbing death of grade 11 student, Michion Campbell.
Campbell was killed on the school's campus last Thursday by another female student.
“We have been hearing stories that there has been a lot of blame going on here; blaming of teachers, the deans of discipline, blaming of everyone and I want to say to you it's not the moment to blame, it's the moment for all of us to pause and say 'how can we make our school a safer place,” she said.
“I see this morning when coming in that you have persons with metal detectors. Kingston Technical High school has metal detectors, it does searches, despite all that we were not able to stave off the stabbing.”
The education minister was speaking to students and staff during her visit to the school on Monday morning. She was accompanied by guidance counsellors, members of the clergy and principals from other high schools in the Corporate Area who went to support the school in their time of grief.
She shared that her ministry will embark on a partnership with the Ministry of Justice to bring restorative justice to the school.
“I've reached out to the Minister of Justice. He has a programme that we have been taking around into our schools… restorative justice to help our students understand how you deescalate conflict situation when they arise, how you interact with each other peacefully, how you resolve disagreement, how you speak to each other so that can work together before it results in fights and arguments,” she said.
Adding, “I don't believe we have taught you enough just yet about how to handle yourself in those situations.”
Recognising that many of the students who attend the school are from volatile inner-city communities, Williams said part the support her Ministry will give the school will focus on helping students to employ conflict resolution in these communities.
“I know that many of you, live in communities and in homes in which it seems as if its normal to quarrel and fight and shout at each other, but I'm saying to you it's not normal and we have to help you when you come to school to understand that there is another way that you can live and interact and have peace in your homes and in your communities,” she said.
- Sashana Small
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