Antigua moves to stem school violence
A series of initiatives were agreed to at a meeting between the Ministers of National Security and Education, and representatives of the Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force and the Royal Police Force.
ST JOHN’S, Antigua, Monday January 23, 2012 - An upsurge in violence among students has prompted authorities to move toward the implementation of the Cadet Core programme from September and expand an anti-drug progamme in schools.
The police will also continue monitoring and patrolling schools and conduct regular random searches, the Ministry of National Security said in a statement.
The decisions were taken at a meeting between the Ministers of National Security and Education, and representatives of the Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force and the Royal Police Force.
In addition, Education Minister Dr Jacqui Quinn-Leandro said recommendations were made for “a curfew for children in school uniforms, how the ministry will incorporate the Defence Force and the police in the security of our school plant, how we are going to professionalise the private security system, among others.”
It was agreed that a joint committee would be formed to assist with the implementation of the Cadet Core programme at the start of the 2012 academic year, while the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) Programme will be expanded to include six secondary schools in its first phase, the released stated.
The DARE programme provides the youth with skills to avoid involvement in drugs, gangs, and violence.
Minister Quinn-Leandro said “buy-in” from parents and teachers would be critical to the success to the initiatives.
“These are ideas which we will discuss with the PTAs of the various schools, and ideas which will we will discuss with the teacher’s union,” she said further.