Trauma counselling team sent to Petersfield High following death of two students – Williams
WESTMORELAND, Jamaica – A trauma counselling team and education officers have been dispatched to the Petersfield High School in Westmoreland following the deaths of two students in a motorbike accident early Tuesday morning.
They will provide support for members of the bereaved family and school community in the aftermath of the tragic incident.
Addressing Wednesday’s post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House in St Andrew, Portfolio Minister Fayval Williams expressed condolences to the immediate families, friends and the school communities of the two fourth-form students- Zackeal McIntyre and Ajani Robinson.
Both students were on their way to school when they met in an accident and were killed.
They are 16-year-old Ajani Robinson and 14-year-old Zackeal McIntire, both of Pinnock Charfton, Darliston addresses in the parish.
“The Ministry of Education and Youth, as is our normal protocol, dispatched a trauma team and education officers to the Petersfield High School in Westmoreland,” the minister said.
“I think we can all agree that this is a tragic loss on so many levels, a loss to their families, school communities and Jamaica as a whole. I pray that with the support of the ministry’s counselling team and that of the wider community, that the immediate and extended families will be able to find some comfort during this difficult time,” she added.
Williams said the ministry mourns with families, friends and colleagues when incidents involving children are reported.
“I know that our trauma team at the Ministry is always on; they’re always ready to go out to the schools, to the families, and we’re talking now about even expanding that to the communities, because communities are impacted as well,” she noted.
The minister appealed to Jamaicans to protect the nation’s children as they travel to and from school.
“In fact, in a recent survey that was done, travelling to and from school is one of the areas feared most by our children, and so we have to say to the adults in Jamaica ‘be the protector of our students’,” she urged.
“Sometimes they have to go alone because their parents have to work. There are many different situations and we need to come together as Jamaicans to be the protector of our children, whether yours or somebody else’s. Children need to be able to trust adults, and to know that adults are there to protect them, so we are really saddened by the many different situations that have come to our attention and we do the best that we can to provide support for the families in their moment of grief,” the minister said.
Meanwhile, Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Information, Robert Morgan urged Jamaicans to use the road safely and play their part in reducing the number of road deaths below the figure for last year.
“The Government has spent a lot of time and a lot of resources in trying to improve road safety. It is the logic behind the new Road Traffic Act; it is the logic behind the new ticketing system. So yes, we are below last year in terms of road deaths, I think we are about 10 to 12 per cent, but as we enter into the festive season we usually see an uptick based on heightened use, based on parties and based on other events,” the minister said.
“Though you may be speeding to your destination, you may also be speeding to your final destination. Look out for the children, look out for pedestrians. Let us try to keep it more than 10 per cent below last year,” he urged.