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Kingston, Jamaica
Advocate

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Alarming Violence Among Students

Our students are dying! The alarming surge of violence among students in Jamaica since the start of the year needs urgent attention. One too many students are being stabbed and beaten daily in and out of schools. I am deeply saddened and perturbed by the malicious and murderous trend of criminal activities affecting our children in Jamaica.
On January 26, 16-year-old Alton Clarke, a student, was stabbed to death at the entrance to the Vere Technical High School in Clarendon. In addition, a group of schoolboys got into a fight which ended in two being stabbed. Prior to these incidents, another student was badly chopped with a machete by another student in Portmore, St Catherine, a few days after the resumption of classes. Criminal behaviour by students is intolerable.
Schools losing sight of core function
It is presumed that the majority of schools across Jamaica epitomise juvenile centres and have lost sight of their core function - educating our children. At the same time, are teachers and parents guilty of recycling criminal elements within our society by silently addressing the issue of crime and violence in schools and homes? If so, this is a clear indication of failure on the behalf of guardians, teachers and other leaders in our country.
For too long, inner-city youth have been faced with the pressure of fighting gang wars and, at the same time, attending school. Our boys and girls are harmed with guns, knives and other deadly weapons. Teachers and parents alone cannot stop violence among students in schools. Therefore, every Jamaican needs to play a role in stemming this monstrous behaviour.
Furthermore, if our students are dying, Jamaica's future generation will be non-existent. Is this the Jamaica we all want to live in, where our children are attacking and killing each other? Let us rise up and protect Jamaica's future.

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