A heavy security presence now prevails at the Monk Street based St. Jago High School in Spanish Town, St. Catherine after Thursday’s gun battle between heavily armed gunmen and a police/military team spilled over on the institution’s compound.
Teachers and students who were sitting exams had to scramble for safety by taking cover under desks and chairs.
When the RJR News team visited the institution on Friday morning, members of the security forces were seen on and around the compound.
A team of counsellors from the Ministry of Education is conducting trauma sessions with teachers and students.
Principal of St. Jago High, Sandra Swyer-Watson says normality has been gradually returning as members of the community have called to lend their support and offer words of encouragement.
Mrs. Swyer-Watson says despite having previously encountered a similar experience, Thursday was the worst in her teaching career.
In the meantime the Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA) is condemning Thursday’s invasion of the school.
The JTA notes that this is only one of the many attacks on schools, teachers and students in recent times by criminals who exercise no concern about the trauma and panic their actions cause.
The association says it 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 teachers umbrella organisation also bemoaned the effect of society’s crime and violence on schools and what it called the hollowness of the Ministry of Education’s Safety and Security policy, which it says is not supported by the necessary human and financial resources.
The JTA has also urged communities to respect and protect schools and the school environment.
And it wants the Government to take all the necessary steps to ensure that teaching and learning activities are always conducted in a safe and secure environment.
Source: RJR News