Friday, March 19, 2004

Gya: School violence out of control

The other side of the coin to the abuse of schoolchildren by certain teachers, particularly in the primary schools, is the attacks on teachers by their pupils, particularly in the secondary schools. The reports coming out of Lodge Community High School, for example, suggest a disciplinary situation which has been allowed to get out of control. These are the kinds of stories which one associates with inner city schools in the United States, or the socially and economically deprived urban areas of the UK.

The issue of classroom safety came to public notice last week after Mr Brian Balgobin, a teacher at Lodge, sustained a fractured skull when a 16-year-old hit him on the head with a piece of wood. The boy was a member of a gang which appears to have been terrorizing the school population, and had been responsible for attacks on both teachers and students even before this incident. Now that things have deteriorated to this point, the Ministry has responded by arranging for regular police patrols at the school to monitor pupils' behaviour.

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