Fri | Dec 4, 2020

Addressing violence and fear in some schools

Published:Tuesday | February 25, 2020 | 12:23 AM

THE EDITOR, Madam:

Truly, the fundamental cause of escalating incidences of violence and fear in schools is evident. To equip teachers with self-defence tactics, erect perimeter fence, and assign security men, guidance counsellors and deans of discipline will not resolve the problem of social defects and personal needs that are contributing to misconduct in schools, and the society at large.

The recent Oracabessa High School incident, for instance, might not have happened if the dean of discipline had privately discussed with the student why he was unkempt, rather than prohibiting the youngster from attending his class. There is always a better way to deal with a problem.

Minister Karl Samuda’s response, as published by the media, offers little or no assurance to teachers, students and parents, and to the public at large. To increase the number of security officers in schools will not remedy the problem. Rather, the Government ought to reform the social services with more social workers, with a larger budgetary allotment to cater to the needs, guidance and developmental support of the underprivileged youth.

NO FIRE WITH FIRE

Educators must quickly realise that punitive measures are not the way to address the problem of disruptive students. Educators study and are trained in, psychology in teachers’ colleges in order to qualify as certified and degreed teachers. Whatever the odds may be, educators in such schools ought to practise and improve on their training. We ought not to fight fire with fire in schools. The powers that be must cease talking about the ills of economically disadvantaged communities and concentrate on amelioration by investing in improving conditions in such areas.

If I were attacked by a student, I would do everything possible to avert a court action, and I would always be calm, firm and unafraid.

OREN COUSINS