Local students with drugs, weapons threaten lives — Education Minister
Education Minister Sharie de Castro painted a dire picture of the state of affairs at the territory’s secondary schools as she confirmed that there have been threats from students to the lives of their peers, school officials, security officers, and even threats to destroy property.
In a statement read in the House of Assembly (HOA) on Friday, the Minister warned that “there has been an upsurge of extreme misconduct at some of local secondary schools” but clarified that this misconduct applied to public schools under the government’s purview.
According to Minister de Castro, “schools have found students in possession of marijuana and marijuana products as well as e-cigarettes and alcohol. Brass knuckles with knives attached are being confiscated from students far too frequently.”
Coupled with that poor behaviour, there have also been reports of significant issues with students bringing oversized splat balls or pellet guns and using them to shoot at others after school, the Minister said. While noting that the infractions came from a “very small percentage” of the student population, de Castro warned that critical instructional time was lost with the poor behaviour.
In taking steps to address the matter previously, the minister said she met with some 15 students and their parents regarding their repeated misbehaviour during the last school year. She said the school’s intervention plan and expectations were clearly outlined at the time. The minister said while some earnestly tried to improve their behaviour, others did not.
As an added measure, the minister said one unnamed secondary school in particular added work duty, in-school suspension, counselling, engaging internal and external mentors and detention to their litany of strategies intended to remedy disruptive conduct. However, this ‘wrap-around approach’ appeared to be only partially successful.
Minister de Castro said her ministry now stands squarely with schools in “declaring an absolute zero tolerance approach” to the misbehaviour and extreme misconduct. “This means that students who are caught with drugs or drug paraphernalia, edibles, alcohol, knives or toy guns and students who engage in gang fights or threaten teachers or other staff will face the requisite consequences as this type of behaviour cannot be allowed to continue.”
This new approach involves engagement with the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) which will see increased patrols of schools and their surrounding areas, and strategic assistance with investigations in matters of extreme infractions as necessary, the minister said.
According to de Castro, “the Ministry has also engaged the Department of Youth Affairs and Sports and intends to engage with … other organisations to create additional opportunities for intervention and support for students who express a willingness to improve and receive the assistance needed.”
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We know that it all starts in the home.Both parent and student needs counseling.
Let the Guidance councillors in the schools do what they are being paid to do. Guide and council those students.
Starts with the moral compass of our community leaders.
You and Natalio ran education to the ground. Nothing works for this Government. Communications and works for the past four yrs was stuck nothing happening.
The woman is a vindictive micro manager- time to boot her out- she will never get my vote
Permanent Suspension is my recommendation. Weed out all of the bad apples so that the good apples can learn in peace.
No regular school discipline for 5 years has consequences, if you don’t pen your sheep regularly soon they won’t act like sheep!
FYI RE: “there have been threats from students to the lives of their peers, school officials, security officers, and even threats to destroy property.”. By saying “even threats to destroy property” this reads as if that is the bigger threat than the threats to persons lives….
Or maybe that’s just me?
At the PTA meeting they said they have about 25 students who are responsible for all of the bad behavior, but they are going to administer harsh punishment to all of the school. this make sense? if you know who the troublemakers are then deal with them! why should students who are well behaved suffer for others.
That mass disciplinary action is unfair. 10 days suspension for a having a knife and 10 days for a cell phone. This just show the gross level of incompetence and insular thinking they have when it comes to discipline.
obviously those students have other motives besides education, so they should not be in school disturbing who wants to learn. Sack them, let them go look work to do and they will understand that school was the best place for them.
Looks like the Schools needs a Joe Clarke from the movie “Learn On Me” if some of the students want to behave like animals then school is NOT for them…Period
LOL be careful cause instead of saying “the woman” you might soon have to say they/them
Haaaaaa. I gone roll with this one. …. “They” out of all order. All of a sudden “They” concerned. “They” turning out to be real politicians, talking for the season.
Before drugs became epidemic, behavior was not a problem. When there was an enforced zero tolerance on possession of fire arms, thugs were not emboldened. When home life was important, kids were held accountable. When government officials governed with the peoples interest being most important, society prospered. When religious figures preached the word or God and did not use the pulpit as an instrument for political power, morality was important. Suddenly the BVI is starting to resemble Jamaica.
What’s new here? Getting a new school new building a supposedly new environment. Where is the book of rules and how is it being enforced? What has changed in the community what is common what are the influences and how do we treat the malaises. Can changing the laws, rules and policies help? Will outside influence be called upon to help while they the same issues.
is saying )> this s**t aint no joke anymore IS SERIOUS
Them chilren aint goin to do nth 🤷🏾♂️
Get um sharie lol #herfacetho
Send them, the offenders to an overseas Boot Camp. That strict discipline should prove effective. It was something that was done some years ago and the results were favorable. The parents needs counseling also.
Thought Pellet Guns was on the list of prohibited imported items into the territory. Well sorry, because so are the other type of Guns and paraphernalia mentioned in the article. This is beyond sad. Help us Lord.