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Education Ministry Declares Zero Tolerance For School Bullying

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Saint Lucia’s Education Ministry has declared zero tolerance for school bullying amid interventions regarding a recent incident involving the Grande Riviere Secondary School students in Dennery.

A video of some older male students, one wielding a belt, accosting and roughing up a smaller schoolmate who pleads with them to behave, went viral on social media.

All the students were in uniform.

“We have not gone to the media with this, but I want to make it clear that the Ministry of Education does not condone bullying at all,” Permanent Secretary in the Department of Education, Innovation and Vocational Training, Michelle Charles, said.

Charles said she was aware of interventions and discussions with the parent, the District Education Officer, and the schools to remedy the situation.

The Permanent Secretary acknowledged that bullying is a traumatic experience for any child.

“We would hate for any student to be put in a situation such as this. It is unfortunate that it happened, but the Ministry of Education will be providing the necessary psycho-social support to the students,” Charles told reporters Friday.

And she disclosed that the victim and the other involved students would receive the support.

“I think some resolution has been arrived at because there has been discussion with the parent of the young man – of the student and also the discussion has been between the District Education Officer (and) the school principal,” Charles said.

She described the bullying incident as ‘rather unfortunate’.

“We went to ensure that this does not reoccur at our schools,” Charles told reporters.

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