JTA wants govt to address violence affecting schools

Jamaica Teacher’s Association President Owen Speid.

The Jamaica Teacher’s Association has called on the Government to respond to recommendations it made to tackle violence against students and teachers across the island.

During a press conference Monday (Feb 10), JTA president, Owen Speid said the association is concerned about the impact of crime and violence on the education system.

Speid outlined a number of incidents—including the murder of children, robberies and attacks against teacher by students and parents—which he said have affected institutions across the island.

“In our visits to schools across the island we received numerous reports from our colleagues and other stakeholders about their concerns and the impact of crime and violence on them personally, and the school system,” Speid said.

He said the association is further concerned that teachers are using a significant portion of their contact time with students to address disciplinary problems. He said both teachers and students are traumatized, and that students with maladaptive behaviours continue to cause disruptions in the system.

The JTA is, therefore, calling on the education ministry to prioritse security in schools and surrounding areas. The JTA is also calling for an enhancement of the conflict resolution mechanisms to support schools.