Former Minister of Education Ronald Jones says turning schools into “prisons” is not going to curb the violence in these institutions.
According to him, the solution isn’t trying to prevent dangerous objects from coming on to school compounds by using hand held metal detectors, because what can be deemed as dangerous objects were already accessible.
Instead, it is dealing with the minds of some of this nation’s children that are “polluted”.
Speaking at a Democratic Labour Party meeting at the Princess Margaret Secondary School last night, he told those gathered that until this happened, another incident like that which occurred at the Frederick Smith School on November 8, will more than likely occur again. Sixteen-year-old Temario Holder was fatally stabbed by a 15-year-old student.
“Unfortunate circumstances have hit one of our schools, the life of a young man gone; cut down by another young man. And a nation should not be putting blame, but a nation should be in prayer. A nation should be seeking solutions because that’s not the only one that might very well be cut down by knife or gun or chisel in the woodwork room, or knife in the Home Ec. Room,” Jones said.
“I’m making this point because sometimes we are silly people. So we get into a panic, we run straight into a panic and turn the school into a prison when inside the same prison every implement to do Wood Work, to do the Culinary Arts, to do the Creative Arts are in the school. So it is not the implement, it is the mind of some that are polluted,” he said.
Jones argued that these minds were being even more contaminated today because, according to him, many of the support systems that they once depended on were being denied resources.
He said: “Children are scrambling to survive; working for people that are nefarious just to put on a pair of shoes or school pants or to get $5 to buy a little lunch, and it is even worst now because all of the supporting agencies are being denied the resources to meet and to get into our homes.
“It isn’t easy being poor. Any idiot that say they like to be poor I would send them with the bones of the ancestors. . . . All of us wanted a good plate of food on our tables this Sunday. They are many in this country who couldn’t do that and they are many children who couldn’t get that plate of food today.”