While it supports calls for increased security at schools and for the prosecution of perpetrators of violence, the Alliance For Change (AFC) posits that such suggestions are only “band-aid remedies to a festering sore”.

Specifically, AFC Member Beverly Alert said that there is still the lingering issue of security for either teachers or students when they leave school as the threat would still exist.

Alert told media operatives at the party’s weekly press conference on Friday that the violence seen in schools across the regions is a symptom of a “greater ill”. She said that while the AFC has taken note of the violence in schools, there are still unreported cases that have not reached the attention of the media. She noted that this is worrying, especially since justice was not served in these instances.

“These attacks on teachers whether by students, school leavers or adults are indicative of the decay eating away at our society where the gap between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ continues to widen…. Then there are the ‘have-nots’ who are barely able to survive from one day to the next and watch in frustration and growing resentment as the wealth of the other group multiplies and they can’t pay their bills and it’s a struggle to put food on the table,” Alert said.

She continued, “Children see and share in the suffering of their parents and become angry when they see their parents working hard yet not able to make ends meet and are likely to act out that anger through acts of violence.”

Alert added that a society where teachers are physically and verbally assaulted by students and their families could not have developed over night. She questioned, “Where are we going as a nation… when a student can get his relatives to give his teacher a trashing, youth gangs can run in a school leaving a young teacher all bloodied in their wake, a teacher feels compelled to defend herself with a cutlass, where are we heading?”

In addition to increased security at schools, she suggested that there is also the need for student councilors in each school who can identify potential problems and work with students, especially troubled teens, to make responsible choices and where needed, work with the parents or guardians of these students.


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