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Teachers Concerned Over Student Gangs

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The President of the National Principals Association (NPA) has disclosed that staff at some schools are apprehensive in the face of evidence of increased student gang activity at learning institutions.

“There is that fear. There are certain schools where the principals and the teachers are in fear because of the magnitude of those cases in schools regarding gangs. We are concerned and need to address it,” Valerie St. Helene-Henry told St. Lucia Times.

She indicated that she was aware that students use graffiti to promote a specific gang, mark its territory, or send a message to others.

“There was a particular incident where they tried to come into a school,” St. Helene-Henry recalled regarding a recent development.

She said a fight occurred, and the school summoned the police.

The NPA President said the matter is under investigation.

St. Helene-Henry felt student gang activity was increasing, pointing to reports that females are now involved.

She recalled seeing a social media video where a female student brandished a firearm, which may not necessarily indicate that the young woman was a gang member.

“I think it is escalating,” the NPA official said regarding the student gang situation.

“Most of those gangs, I think adults lead them not school students. So there’s a recruiting process to bring in students for whatever reason,” St. Helene-Henry told St. Lucia Times.

She noted the need for a holistic approach to addressing the problem and called on parents to play their role alongside principals, teachers, the police, and others.

“The parents need to play a major part,” St. Helene-Henry declared.

“The children are on the loose out there after school. Parents are not finding out where their children are. They don’t give them a specific time to be at home – these are some of the things,” she stated.

According to the NPA President, the school cannot insist on a set of rules that are not enforced at home where there is no difference between an adult and a child.

St. Helene-Henry spoke Friday, one day after a meeting to discuss a comprehensive review of school safety and security done by by former Police Commissioner Ausbert Regis.

She said the review in the pilot project involved eight secondary schools in various parts of the Island, some of which had experienced break-ins and other safety and security issues.

“We met to review the recommendations and classify those that were short, medium and long-term,” the NPA head disclosed.

The recommendations included fencing, increased CCTV use, and appointing security officers instead of school ‘watchmen’.

The NPA President said Thursday’s discussion also focussed on student gangs.

St. Helene-Henry explained that some parents hesitate to send their children to some schools where they believe student gangs operate.

Headline photo: Suspected gang graffiti at a secondary school in Castries.

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7 COMMENTS

  1. Miss St Helen Henry, what you are speaking of is basically what the schools across the island have ignored for well over 15yrs now. Additionally to what you now recognizing within your schools your very own are creating criminal mind set by promoting the sales of items by teachers under the disguised as fund rising. It happens often, in some cases teachers are making double their salaries thereby not dispensing the level of teaching and guidance necessary because they are being consumed otherwise. Teaching is not just turning up at a classroom room, open a text book and say let’s do this chapter, understand the word carefully “teacher”. Another point is that schools wanted to promote healthy life style but let me say this, it is far from the truth, pizza for example is unhealthy, educate yourself from various sources of melted cheese when consume in a fatty or oily stage, list me one chemical in your body’s laboratory that breaks down such fat in less than 5 days. Ofcourse outsiders are leading the younger ones because why from the age of 11/12 they are smoking, selling, transporting and being encourage to pimp girls, money are being sent through various channels to give certain females in schools so after school or weekend a different lifestyle exist. I can go on…and on… what you are now accepting that is happening it was there 15+ years ago.

  2. Sooner or later st lucia will be like Haiti 🇭🇹 some parents know all the bad things their children are doing and do nothing about it then again maybe just maybe they’re afraid of their children time will tell….

  3. Another leader being concerned. To me that is the worrying trend. All our leaders are concerned, then speak on a mike and that’s it. Since the day gangs in schools. No w alone all u concerned. Ausbert Regis gets a salary now. So u really think dem guys want the problem to be solved? A chance to gv a hack a job. Lady wheel and come again. When a shooting occurs in a school then we Might take heed or maybe now the PM will be concerned too and maybe make fun of it and off course cast the blame on the Parents.

  4. Some people chatting their usual crap equating their era when they were in school compared to students going to school in Big 2023. I have news fools ITS A BIG DIFFERENCE.For starters their is the doubt edge sword 1 Social media (2 ) these 90’s baby with children today in school many has refused to grow up or still adolescent and don’t make good examples as parents, it’s their mother and fathers who are STILL raising them and their children. Children practice what they see and learn some of these children you can’t even speak to them anymore the mind of a 13 year old is that of a 19 old these days. Copral punishment is a no no it’s different times different era. The Internet is a blessing and curse. I feel it for the teachers in this day and age especially those who refuse to retire early, the concept of going to school is the same towards learning, but today’s youth are so poison by the fabric of their lives which is the Internet.

  5. Police should not be the primary intervention. Madame President needs to address these issues with the Chief Education Officer or Ministry of Education to help initiate some proactive interventions in schools to reduce the attractiveness of gangs to our young learners. Investing in our children’s well-being is critical. Schools need guidance counselors to teach and conduct social and emotional learning activities. Education is not just preparing kids for exams.

  6. Black people are the same all across the globe it seems. Unable to handle their own affairs. Broken culture, violent music, lack of sophistication or individuality amongst them. Quit a shame. The people of this island are slowly but surely being replaced by more competent persons. Keep up the drinking and partying.

  7. Goodmorning to all. This is not new first of all. Humanity only have one purpose for being alive and that is to serve God. We all are obligated to serve the lord on this earth from president to people we all must humble Before him. Our children has gone astray only because we fail to Give God the attention he needs to keep us connected to him. Satan is seeking whom he may devour and yet still we love his devises and gadgets. GENUINE REPENTANCE IS THE ONLY ANSWER FOR WHAT IS GOING ON IN THIS WORLD. No one is to blame. Each one Work on yourself and give God a chance in your life.

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