It’s now ‘zero tolerance’ for violence, the nation’s high school principals have declared, expressing solidarity with the family of the Frederick Smith Secondary School grieving over student Temario Holder’s slaying.
In a strongly-worded statement, the Barbados Association of Principals of Secondary Schools (BAPPSS) said: “We decry senseless killing of any kind and are particularly saddened and alarmed when young people with such potential are cut down in their prime.
“The death of Temario is a tragedy for this country.”
And even as BAPPSS reported that it was working internally and with the Government and social agencies to tackle the school violence crisis, it warned there was no quick fix.
But it made a case for Government to deliver on its commitment to increase the resources to tackle the problem and suggested help could come from the University of the West Indies.
BAPPS said: “We eagerly await the promised additional Guidance Counsellors and Safety Officers in our schools.
“Additionally we believe that some social work students from the University of the West Indies in completing their volunteer hours, should be assigned to do so in our schools.
But the association stressed that tackling the scourge involves engaging the whole society
It said: “It is a complex issue which requires all stakeholders in education and in the wider society to ensure that our schools are safe zones for staff and students alike.”
The association said it will use the current resources in schools, including teachers and guidance counsellors, parent teachers’ associations, school boards of management and the clergy.
BAPPS added: “We continue to support behavioural improvement programmes like the Schools Positive Behaviour Management Programme (SPBMP), Restorative Justice Practices and Values Education which present alternatives to violence to our students.”