After over an hour of being called to the school hall for a meeting, students were allowed to go to their waiting parents. (Picture by Xtra Vision Photography.)
It might be the month of love, but fear was the only thing on the minds of parents waiting at the gates of St Leonard’s Boys’ School yesterday to find out if their children were safe.
While the grim expressions showed their concerns, parents of students at the Richmond, St Michael school were split on what must be done to stamp out school violence.
Within minutes of hearing the news that there was a stabbing incident at the school, parents raced there for their charges.
However, what greeted them was a one-hour wait as the school was placed on lockdown as students met with staff and police after two 16-year-old students were stabbed in an altercation.
One parent, Ricky Watson, told the DAILY NATION he was at work when he heard the news and left immediately for the school.
“Parents have to play their part. They need to make sure that their children are not doing things they shouldn’t be doing,” Watson said as he stood patiently outside the gates.
“I can’t believe children would leave home with weapons and parents don’t even know they have weapons,”
Also at the school’s entrance was Doren Pollard who said she was also at work when her phone began ringing off the hook with news of yet another stabbing.
“I feel as parents, we should be behind our children 24/7. We shouldn’t wait on society or the ministry to do certain things. As parents we should be checking all the time,” she said.
Following the spate of violent school incidents, Minister of Education Ronald Jones and Chief Education Officer Karen Best have remained adamant there would be no metal detectors installed in secondary schools.
However, two upset parents waiting also outside of St Leonard’s Boys’ yesterday disagreed and called for such measures to be implemented urgently.
“The same things that the minister doesn’t want to do he has to seriously look at. It’s being done in schools all over the world and I can say it works to some extent,” the unnamed parent said.
Meanwhile, another unnamed parent also supported the use of metal detectors.
“It was frightening because I just heard there was a stabbing at St Leonard’s, I don’t know if it’s my child, you don’t know what form it is; something needs to be done with this,” the mother said. (AD)