Violence in schools has reached “crisis proportions” the labour union movement’s umbrella organisation today declared, as it sought to link the trend to a wider problem in the workplace.
In a strongly-worded statement, the Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations of Barbados (CTUSAB) said the trending violence among young people is a big concern for the labour called on authorities to pay attention to violence in the workplace.
CTUSAB said: “Serious acts of such a violent nature between school children on and off the school premises, and the resulting loss of life, is suggestive that this matter has reached crisis proportions.”
Pointing to the fatal knifing of 16-year-old Temario Holder by one of his peers at the Frederick Smith Secondary School and another stabbing incident involving two St Leonard’s Boys’ students, CTUSAB General Secretary Dennis De Peiza warned the developments were “symptomatic of the social decay being experienced in today’s Barbadian society”.
He urged that the crisis be tackled head-on, insisting that the incidents are a wakeup call to all and sundry that workplace violence in Barbados cannot be taken lightly.
The congress leader said: “It is a source of worry that in one instance, a fatal violent act was perpetrated at the workplace. It is apparent that such incidences will have an impact on the psyche of workers.
“This brings into sharp focus the need to pay critical attention to safety at workplaces.
“It is necessary that employers be proactive and consider measures which can help to eliminate any isolated or mass-based act of violence, which can have a devastating impact on employees, customers, users, families and business operations”
The CTUSAB boss commended both the Barbados Union of Teachers and the Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union on their continued efforts at alerting the nation of the looming crisis but stressed the authorities must act now to arrest the problem.
De Peiza added: “Mindful of the devastating impact which this incident has left on students, teachers, family members of the students involved and on the nation as a whole, it is now imperative that definitive action plans are developed, which are intended to ensure the safety of students and teachers in our schools, and the employees and customers of our workplaces.”