Reid for tackling school violence
Head of Crimestoppers Barbados, Oral Reid, says his organisation is paying attention to the items used by children in cases of violence and bullying, and wants steps taken to address the situation.
More than ten students have gone before the law courts in recent months for committing violent acts. In two recent cases, cutlasses were used, and there have been situations where scissors and other sharp-edged tools were used by students to harm each other.
“Daily reported and unreported cases in secondary schools and schools across Barbados suggest that individual students are entering the school environment with various other forms of weapons. We see this as a problem that has to be addressed as a result of firm action, with regard to conducting checks and ensuring that persons who have to work in the environment of secondary schools, are able to do in a safe manner,” Reid said at a recent Press conference.
He endorsed the view expressed by others that the Royal Barbados Police Force be called in to help conduct the searches. He also encouraged people who provided security to arm themselves with the skills to complement any action taken by police, adding Crimestoppers was willing to assist with training.
Last week, Assistant Commissioner of Police William Yearwood also spoke out about violence in schools and encouraged principals and those operating schools to seek the intervention of police when situations developed.
He was also in favour of conducting spot checks in schools.
“If you want to prevent weapons from entering schools, then you’ve got to do checks,” Yearwood stressed.
Crimestoppers was “extremely proud” of the Cool Yuh Head programme, which started five years ago, and was now in 20 secondary schools. He added he was now looking to take it into the primary system.
Both Reid and project officer Imran Richards reported significant improvement in the behaviour of the students who went through the programme. Richards said they remained at a school for a full year and worked with each class. (YB)