Second and third form students returning to Frederick Smith Secondary School on Tuesday were greeted at the gates by security guards who searched them in a lengthy process.
Additional guards were stationed under a tent next to the guard hut at the front of the school, searching students’ bags and scanning their bodies with hand held metal detectors.
Police officers were also at the Trents, St James school.
On Monday, Minister of Education Santia Bradshaw announced that when second to fourth form students return to school for counselling following the November 8 stabbing of 16-year-old student Temario Holder by another, they would be greeted by beefed-up security.
As a result of the closure of primary and secondary schools across the island due to power outages, not all the students who were to report to school were present.
Several parents who observed the proceedings at the gate told Barbados TODAY that while they were happy to see the school had taken the needed step to increase to stop students from taking weapons on the premises, they believed the process should be more efficient.
The parents warned that if the process was not reviewed immediately, there could be long lines at the gate when all the students return to the institution on Thursday morning when classes have been scheduled to resume.
A father, who only gave his name as Worrell, said he watched the process and realised that it moved slowly.
He said: “It is a little slow and there are not all the children here this morning. When all the children come in I feel that will be a problem.
“But they got to work to fine tune it and get it moving a little better. It is a lot of children that going here and that line is going to be backed up.
“They have to find a way to move faster.”
Pheona Beckles agreed with Worrell that the process should be evaluated. Beckles said she dropped her nephew at the school gate, drove to Holetown to conduct business, and when she returned minutes later he was still in line waiting to be checked.
Beckles told Barbados TODAY: “To go through all of these bags, it may be worth it, but the time is too long.
“They have to take out their things and put them in the tray to be checked.
“There are a lot of children at this school. And when one bus load come in, and another bus load come in they would be moving slow and school would begin and children missing a lot of time from class.”
Beckles suggested that parents who take their children to school should play a role in checking their school bags before they get out the vehicle.
David Alleyne, whose daughter is in the fourth form year group said he was happy to see the search taking place, considering that he heard at a meeting that “parents seeing children with weapons and not saying anything”.
“I am quite pleased,” Alleyne said.
Erskine Alleyne said he was fully on board with the new security measures which he hoped would keep his daughter, her schoolmates, and teachers safe and gave him and other parents an ease of mind.
Alleyne said: “When I got here things were not busy at the gate, but anything that is going to keep the kids safe and help the school, is a good thing.”
The Ministry of Education has informed parents and guardians that professional counselling services for all second to fourth form students would continue on Wednesday November 20 since sessions would have been disrupted on Tuesday.
Students should report to the school for 9 a.m.
The education ministry has also issued a reminder that school resumes for all students on Thursday.
“All members of staff, teaching and non-teaching should also report for duty,” a release from the Government Information Service (GIS) stated.
The ministry said that professional counsellors would continue to be onsite for all staff and students after school reopens.
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