THE Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA) has condemned yesterday’s invasion of St Jago High school by marauding gunmen which resulted in the interruption of school activities and mid-term examinations. In a release to the media the JTA cited several recent atrocities which have disrupted school activities.
"This is only one of the many attacks on our schools, teachers and students in recent times by criminals who exercise no concern about the trauma and panic their actions cause. The Association has also received reports of parents and teachers in some areas being in a state of panic because of the increasing attacks on schools and teachers not only by gunmen but also by students themselves," the release stated.
The JTA listed the following incidents as examples of attacks against teachers by students and parents:
A teacher being stabbed by a student at Anchovy High School in St James;
A teacher conducting class activities at Cambridge Primary having being attacked and stabbed at repeatedly by a machete wielding intruder;
The principal of St Jude’s Primary having being held up and robbed at gun point
A teacher being attacked and robbed at St John’s Primary yesterday;
Teachers at Trench Town High being threatened after a gun was taken from a student on the school compound; and
The Charlie Smith school having been invaded by gunmen in a gun related incident
The JTA said these attacks displayed the effect of society’s crime and violence on schools and the hollowness of the Ministry of Education’s Safety and Security policy which is not supported by the necessary human and financial resources.
"The JTA calls on communities to respect and protect schools and the school environment and for Government to take all the steps necessary to ensure that teaching and learning activities are always conducted in a safe and secure environment. The Association also reminds all stakeholders that school grounds are regarded as sacred and that every effort should be made to ensure that these facilities are protected at all times from invasion by criminal elements," the release said.
The JTA called on its members, especially those who work in volatile communities, to exercise caution at all times and to report to the Association any activity which is placing a strain on them in satisfactorily carrying out their job in a professional manner.
This is really amazing. For a gun battle to go on for so long shows how well these thugs are armed. I did hear that some people were apprehended but I am not sure if they were involved in the shootings