Wednesday 3 June, 2020

VIDEO: More weapons confiscated at schools

Following the stabbing death of a student on Friday last week, it was revealed by President of the Barbados Secondary Teachers Union (BSTU), Mary Redman that a number of weapons were since taken from students at different schools.

Temario Holder, a 16-year-old student of the Frederick Smith School, was fatally stabbed on Friday, November 8 by another student on the school compound. Addressing a mass meeting this afternoon at Solidarity House, Redman said the weapons confiscated included knives and a metal pipe. 

“On Friday a knife was taken from a student at another school. The evening at that same school, a student was beaten around his head with a piece of metal. There was a killing on Friday and yesterday [Monday] a knife was found on a student at another school. Obviously for the child traveling with that knife on Monday, what happened on Friday meant absolutely nothing to that child.”



At the meeting, members put forward a number of recommendations for the Ministry of Education, some of which included increased security and immediate suspension for student who engage in violent acts. 

During a press briefing on Monday evening, Education Minister, Santia Bradshaw said the Ministry intends to engage the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) for the purpose of patrols in and around the school premises at the Frederick Smith School.

One teacher at the Ellerslie School said the Ministry should consider using police patrols at all ‘at-risk’ schools affected by violence.

“I was also told that a student in fifth form sells the knives to the younger students. Last week Monday there was a fight at our school and one of them [students] had a sword. That same day we took a knife from a third former. The following day, one of our fifth years was stabbed on Black Rock main road by a student from another school.

“We are encompassed by four gangs in the neighbourhood. We need a strong police presence. I would recommend that not only a police presence at Frederick Smith but also at all the other schools that are at-risk for this kind of violence.”

Redman told members the BSTU has prepared a number of short and long-term recommendations to be presented to the Education Minister. She spoke to the need for a Special Committee on Violence which will include representatives from the Union, the National Parents Teachers Association, the church, psychologists, police and social workers.

In addition, Redman said it will be recommended for the Barbados Defence Force (BDF) to patrol some school as a “more assertive” measure.

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