NPTA urges students to stop tripping challenge

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NPTA urges students to stop tripping challenge

Thursday, February 20, 2020

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INTERIM president of the National Parent-Teacher Association (NPTA) Mitsie Harris-Dillon has condemned the tripping challenge which has been taken up by Jamaican youngsters following a viral Internet video. She urged students to immediately stop engaging in the dangerous activity.

“It recently came to our attention that there are videos [of the dangerous tripping challenge] making rounds on social media [and which have been tried by some students]. It actually came to our attention over the weekend and there are individuals who are very concerned, as we rightly should be, that it's our students who are being targeted through this challenge and there is injury and potential death that can occur as a result of this challenge,” she told host Richard Burgess on The Edge 105 FM Tuesday morning.

At least one male student has received serious injury after engaging in the dangerous act where three people jump together, after which one is tripped.

Harris-Dillion noted that the challenge is horrific and that the NPTA is encouraging all students to cease and desist immediately.

“There is one video where the person appears to either be dead or unconscious and it is horrifying just to watch it. We are calling on our Parent-Teacher Association's (PTA's) to put this forward as an agenda item at their meetings and we are encouraging all parents across Jamaica to sit down with children and discuss the implications,” she said, adding that a part from the physical and psychological repercussions, legal matters may arise.

“There are severe legal implications that can arise out of this and it's not just for the students involved. It can extend to their parents and their schools. There are fines, medical costs that they will need to cover, their parents will need to cover so it just best to stay away from it. Focus your energies elsewhere and just leave the challenge alone,” she said.

Harris-Dillion also commended the National Secondary Schools Council for its response to the challenge through video.

In the video, members of the council from several schools expressed their opposition to the challenge.

“Our student leaders are really pushing the ball. I am so proud of them and we realise that a lot of young people have creative energies and we just want to channel them in a positive direction,” Harris-Dillon noted.

She further shared her concern about an incident that took place at Eltham High School in Spanish Town on Monday where armed men entered the school compound to harm another student after a fight had taken place in the morning devotion.

“We would want to call on the police to do an investigation into what would have transpired. I am quite concerned that a student would be starting a fight during devotions when we are supposed to be praying. And the fact that you were able to use a phone and call for back up, based on what is in the media, it is really really disturbing. We are calling on the Ministry of Education to fast track their plans in getting increased security measures in all of our schools because our children need to be safe in the school environment and our teachers need to be safe in their work environment so that they can impart the knowledge that our children will require in life,” she said.

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