No more 'crisis and crawsis'
Education ministry says bad behaving students to be referred to restorative justice centres
Screengrab of video showing Denham Town High students

MORE disciplinary actions will be coming for students who engage in violent behaviours in schools, as the Ministry of Education will be tightening its partnership with the Ministry of Justice in conflict resolution.

Director for safety and security in schools unit at the education ministry Richard Troupe said along with the suspension issued to ill-mannered students, they will also be referred to a restorative justice centre located near the school.

"Children who we see in the [violent] videos oftentimes are suspended for the infraction they would have committed and instead of giving them a suspension, we want to make sure that they are referred to the restorative justice centres within the space that the school is located," said Troupe who was speaking at the Jamaica Observer Monday Exchange.

"This is to ensure that they return from the suspension with a plan from the restorative justice centre regarding the three months' intervention that they and their families will have to participate in as a support, to ensure that we are not relying exclusively on suspension and expulsions," he added.

For the restorative justice programme, a total of 500 schools are being targeted this year in an effort to promote alternative dispute resolution measures among the nation's youth.

Troupe stressed that the violent videos circulated on social media platforms are not reflective of all the 411,000 students in the island's 110 public schools and as such, more effort should be made to promote positivity.

"We would have noted the videos that are going around that are a major cause for concern and I always say to our schools, let's see how we can clinically respond appropriately and see the things we need to do to prevent the recurrence of these unfortunate situations," he said.

"I also encourage our schools, in the same breath to say, 'How do we find a way to tell our positive stories in our schools because the videos are not necessarily reflective of the 411, 000 students in our 110 public schools, but we have a tendency to give attention to the negative. If we don't balance the narrative, we are going to give the impression that is pure 'crisis and crawsis'. Our boys and girls need to be inspired by the positive things around them," he said.

The latest in a series of viral videos featured a senior teacher and a student fighting at Kemps Hill High School in Clarendon last week.

In February, another viral video showed students of Denham Town High School in Kingston in which two boys ordered another to kneel, as they kicked and slapped him several times.

BY BRITTNY HUTCHINSON Observer staff reporter

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