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Director of Education commits to improved security in schools

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The country’s director of education has said an urgent review of security at public schools across the country is underway.

This follows the daytime invasion of Clare Hall Secondary School (CHSS) by armed masked men on Tuesday.

Pandemonium broke out at the school after the men entered the school to hunt down and attack a student.

This brought an abrupt end to the school day, leaving students and teachers traumatised.

Director Clare Browne condemned the attack and added that the perpetrators’ actions were “reprehensible, especially in a school setting”.

“When parents send their children to school, they expect that their children are going to be safe. When teachers come to work at schools, their workplace, then they expect to be safe. When cleaners and all the other persons who operate within a school compound come to operate there, they expect to go back home at the end of the workday and they do not expect to be terrorised as they were terrorised [Tuesday], Mr. Browne stated.

The issue of school security is again at the fore as there has been a resurgence of break-ins and vandalism, but the failed attempt by the two men to harm their teenaged  target has driven home the urgency with which education officials must act to safeguard the safety of pupils and teachers.

“We recognise that we need to look again, to rethink the quality of security that is provided for schools,” Director Browne said.

“We need to make sure that persons when they come to work, or they come to learn, that they are able to go back at the end of the day. We need to make sure that parents who are out trying to make a living for themselves have the peace of mind that their children are receiving an education in a safe and healthy learning environment.”

Minister of Education, Sports and Creative Industries Daryll Matthew, Director Browne and a team from the ministry, which included counsellors, visited CHSS on Wednesday to offer support to those who impacted on Tuesday.

The ministry has also committed to making schools safe havens for everyone involved.

“We would have promised the school that the Ministry of Education will do everything within its powers to ensure that we improve the security situation at the Clare Hall Secondary School, and at every other school, primary, secondary in this country,” Director Browne assured.

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