Concerns over student violence at Washie & BHS

By MyVueNews Staff-Writer:

 

Basseterre, St. Kitts, January 15, 2017, (MyVueNews.com) – The police in St.Kitts and the management of the two main high schools on the island areaddressing safety and security issues, after recent incidents that causedofficers to be on the scene.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) with responsibilityfor the Operations Directorate – Terrance James said that the meeting was partof the police force’s community policing initiative, according to a statementreleased on Monday by the force.

He said, “We plan to reach out to all the schools. The only way to address the number of violent incidents that occur inschools is to partner with the schools. We have a mandate to ensure thatwe protect our young people and the police will do what we can, on our end, tomake certain that that is the case.”

During the closing days of the last school week, at least twofighting incidents, involving students, prompted officers to be dispatched tothe Taylor’s district, where both the Washington Archibald High and BasseterreHigh Schools are located. The area also is home to two other institutions ofeducation.

To help find solutions, a joint meeting that was convened lastweek, at the WAHS, involved

Assistant Commissioner of Police James, Tactical Commander –Superintendent Adolph Adams, Head of the Anti-Gang Unit Task Force – InspectorTravis Rogers and Force Personnel Officer – Clifford Govia.

Those representing the schools were Washington Archibald High SchoolPrincipal Joan Sargeant, Vice Principal Stafford Pemberton and GuidanceCounselor Pastor Lincoln Connor.

From the Basseterre High School were Principal Maurice Benjamin,Vice Principal John Samuel and Guidance Counselor Sasha-Gay McDermott. Representingthe Ministry of Education was Education Officer, Lisa Pistana.

Several issues were discussed. Chief among them weregang-related activities, securing the schools’ perimeter and facilities, aswell as ensuring that the schools’ surroundings were well lit.  ThePrincipals also shared a few of the initiatives they were undertaking toaddress some of their issues.

The intention of the talks was to further ensure the protectionof the staff and students, as well as the facilities on the premises.

Pistana described the meeting as “excellent.” She saidthat she thought they were able to discuss how to resolve several issuesand added that once they continued to work together they shouldcontinue to see results.

The Principals expressed their appreciation to the police fortheir efforts to date to protect the staff and students of the two schools.They also praised the officers who have been assigned to their schools and howquickly they responded when called upon.

These officers conduct daytime patrols in the vicinity of theschools and assist in any other way possible upon request. The officialsfrom the school indicated their desire to have the police presence maintainedthroughout the current school year.

ACP James said that the meeting was part of the police force’scommunity policing initiative.

“We plan to reach out to all the schools.  The onlyway to address the number of violent incidents that occur inschools is to partner with the schools. We have a mandate to ensure thatwe protect our young people and the police will do what we can, on our end, tomake certain that that is the case,” ACP James said.

The meeting was held on 11th January, 2018.