Jamaica Baptist Union condemns brutal killing of 8-year-old Danielle; wants more done to protect children and elderly
The Jamaica Baptist Union (JBU) has condemned the brutal slaying of eight-year-old Danielle Rowe.
At the same time, the JBU has expressed “grave concern” over what it has described as “the growing spate of abductions, sexual assaults and murders of Jamaicans, especially the elderly and children”
In calling for “urgent action to arrest this evil”, the JBU said it is “still reeling from the shock of the murder of young Danielle.
The Union has extended “deepest sympathies to Danielle’s family and school during this unimaginably difficult time”.
Danielle was abducted from the Braeton Primary and Infant School on June 8 by a woman who remains at large. She was later found on Roosevelt Avenue in St Andrew with her throat slashed. The bloodied child was taken to the nearby Bustamante Hospital for Children by a soldier. Danielle died in the early hours of Saturday, June 10.
The JBU is assuring the bereaved relatives that “grief of the family and the school is our grief, and we pledge to collaborate with the Government and other stakeholders to ensure that such atrocities are not repeated”.
The JBU said it supports the Jamaica Council of Churches of which it is a part, in affirming that every child deserves the right to a safe and secure educational environment, free from the threat of violence or harm.
“The alarming rise in these heinous crimes against our children demands immediate attention from all sectors of society, including the Church,” it said.
To address the crisis, the JBU is urging all the relevant authorities, stakeholders, and the wider community to collaborate and prioritise the following measures:
-Declare safe zones around schools and increase security presence within the vicinity of those schools in the mornings and afternoons when schools are dismissed.
-Strengthen security measures in schools by installing surveillance cameras, controlled access points, and regular security assessments to identify vulnerabilities.
-Establish safe routes and reliable transportation options for students, minimising their exposure to potential risks.
-Reintroduce a phased special bus service for students in urban areas and increase access to the rural transportation service that exists on some routes in rural parishes.
-Introduce a comprehensive education and awareness campaign as a sustained effort to educate children, parents, teachers, and the wider community about personal safety, child protection, and early warning signs of potential dangers.
This, the JBU said can be achieved through partnerships with local organisations, faith-based institutions, and media outlets. The JBU said it stands ready to help and has called for all members of its churches to join in these efforts and assume a protective role of our children.
“As an organisation with vested interest in education, the JBU is committed to collaborating with Government and all relevant stakeholders to ensure the implementation of these measures and to actively participate in initiatives aimed at safeguarding the welfare of our children.
“The JBU also calls upon parents to be more acutely aware of the current violence-plagued environment and make appropriate arrangements for the children to be transported and picked up on time”.