The President of the National Principals Association (NPA) has reiterated concerns over school security after police charged a 15-year-old student at a Castries Secondary school with possession of an illegal gun.
According to reports, the teenager had the pistol in his bag.
“I am sure that every school teacher and principal right now is in a state of anxiety and fear because we never know what a student would walk into a school with and the purpose for entering school with a weapon, especially a gun and especially if it is a loaded gun,” Valerie St. Helene-Henry told St Lucia Times.
And St. Helene-Henry said safety and security at schools need urgent attention because principals, teachers, and students would be in fear.
The NPA President explained that a few other incidents had raised concerns over school security.
She recalled that the Ministry of Education did a comprehensive school safety and security review.
“With it came recommendations – some of the recommendations bordered on ensuring that there are resources to address those recommendations,” St. Helene-Henry noted.
“We need to begin to prioritise where we are heading to as a nation, where we need to make some sacrifices and ensure that the limited resources that we have are channelled in the right direction,” she told St Lucia Times.
According to St. Helene-Henry, whatever happens at schools will filter into the community and society and vice versa.
In this regard, she told St Lucia Times that the authorities might have to consider random searches of students.
The NPA President acknowledged that some parents might object.
However, she noted that the spotlight has been on what schools and the Ministry of Education are doing.
Nevertheless, St. Helene-Henry declared that parents need to do their part in being aware of what their children are up to and what they are carrying in their bags.