BUT: Schools need improved security, emergency protocols
The fatal shooting of a parent outside the St Alban’s Primary School last week has underscored the need for the island’s schools to have in place emergency management protocols.
This was the view expressed by President of the Barbados Union of Teachers (BUT), Shawn Spencer, on the heels of the shooting death of 38-year-old Marlon Holder, who was killed while dropping his son and another student off at the school.
In a statement, the union head said there is great concern regarding the provisions for “security and safety, emergency preparedness and emergency management protocols in the school system”.
"Thursday's shooting death brings sharply into focus the increasing levels of violence and lawlessness in our society. It ranks as a display of contempt for the lives of others and a particular disregard for the safety of young, innocent children…. the Union is compelled to remind of the need for improved security and emergency protocols, including regular emergency drills in the times and manner schools may and can experience actual emergency scenarios, in the interest of all stakeholders in education," Spencer noted.
In light of these recent events, Spencer said the BUT has developed and submitted a School Safety & Security proposal to the Ministry of Education, Technological & Vocational Training.
“The proposal was submitted on behalf of the Caribbean Association of Security Professionals (CASP), with whom the Union has established a partnership.
The association has also indicated its willingness to share its ideas and identify possible safety and security solutions. We are of the view that the teaching fraternity must be afforded ample opportunity to contribute to the creation and maintenance of an environment of safety and security in schools.”
The BUT and its members are requesting a meeting with the Minister of Education, Santia Bradshaw, to discuss the implementation of the proposal.