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Cops to patrol schools

Friday, March 21 2014

IN the wake of recent reports of school violence, including a brawl among schoolgirls at Mucurapo West Secondary School, Acting Prime Minister Winston Dookeran said the police will be increasing their presence in the nation’s schools.

He said the matter was discussed at the Cabinet meeting yesterday and they met with Acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams, and his advisers on the issue to increase the police presence at schools during the start and end of classes.

“This will not solve the problem because the problem was much deeper than that, but at least from the point of view of policing and community policing, it will have some deterrent to students who may find themselves inclined to misbehave in this situation,” Dookeran said.

He said the arrangement with the police service will encourage liaison officers to be established between schools and the police authorities.

He noted the matter will also be addressed through the Education Ministry which is developing a programme in value education and “they will continue to introduce that with greater speed in order to be able to try and reduce that”. He also noted individual schools will have to take some responsibility in ensuring the discipline in the schools.

Last Friday ten female students of Mucurapo West Secondary School engaged in a massive fight outside the school which was videotaped and went viral on video sharing website Youtube and on social media.

The ten students have been suspended pending an investigation. There was also a video recording of a schoolgirl fight at Toco Secondary which has been circulating. Two students were suspended.

On Wednesday nine students of ASJA Boy’s College appeared before a Chaguanas magistrate charged with disturbing the peace. They have been released into the custody of their parents.

In another recent incident, a 17-year-old student of La Romaine High School is nursing an injured right arm after he was beaten with a piece of wood by a 15-year-old student.

Dookeran responded to questions about school violence yesterday at a media conference at the Office of the Prime Minister, St Clair.

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