Minister of Education Ronald Jones and Chief Education Officer Karen Best. (Picture by Reco Moore.)
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The time still has not come for metal detectors to be installed at schools in Barbados.
That remains the stance of the hierarchy of the Ministry of Education, even as violence in schools continues to be a major concern.
Chief Education Officer Karen Best yesterday shot down the recommendation, saying that things had not yet got to the point where the devices were needed.
A suggestion that metal detectors be placed at the entrance of schools was raised following an incident at Ellerslie School late last year which resulted in a male student losing several fingers after being attacked by a cutlass-wielding colleague.
Minister Ronald Jones rejected the idea on that occasion.
During a press conference at the Ministry’s Constitution Road, St Michael headquarters yesterday morning, Best told members of the media that teachers had the power to search students they suspected of carrying weapons.
“The time has not come for metal detectors or any type of detectors in our schools. Under Section 64 of the regulations of the Education Act, the teachers have the power to search and seize any item, implement, or anything that should not be in a school and they have the power to search and when they find [items] call the police, call the Ministry of Education and call the parents. That is in the law,” Best said.
“So if you come to school and I find you with a weapon this morning, tomorrow morning when you come through the door I can search you, I can search you tomorrow afternoon and I can search you tomorrow evening. That power is vested in the teachers.” (RB)