Parents at the Deighton Griffith School are calling for authorities to address school violence and take action to improve security.
This appeal was made following an incident at the Kingsland, Christ Church school today, Thursday, December 8. Two students were allegedly involved in an attempted stabbing which led to much panic, as the institution reportedly went on lockdown – no one in and no one out.
I don’t know how it get like this
Scores of worried parents gathered outside the school gates after the news broke. Students congregated at the security post waiting for their parents. Junior students, not taking the school buses, were only allowed to leave the premises once their parents/guardians arrived much to the ire of several who voiced “all parents can’t come for children. School done, let go the children!”
When the Loop News team arrived on the scene, one parent who requested anonymity revealed that his daughter called him at 12:40 pm and told him a serious fight occurred.
He believed that today’s incident “boiled over” from a fight that occurred on Wednesday, December 7. The parent shared that yesterday, the deputy principal and security officers were outside the school gates with batons.
“From my understanding from my daughter, every day of this term there are four or more fights happening at Deighton Griffith School and it is not being handled properly… Nobody seems to be getting a handle on it,” the father contended.
“Deighton Griffith was never like this. I don’t know how it get like this. Even when my daughter was in First Form they never had so much fights either….I don’t know what is really going on,” he continued.
Reporting that to his knowledge there was a previous unpublicised incident where an individual who didn’t attend the school was on the school plant in the Deighton Griffith School uniform, the parent harshly criticised the security at the institution. He stressed that it needed to be “buffed up”.
Following today’s incident, he also suggested that several measures be taken, including bag searches, and increased security personnel around the school.
“The wire fencing need to be cut out and put up wall with Barb Wire…If the children need to be treated as if they are in prison, then that’s what we need to do in order to secure the school, that is what they have to do. Barb Wire the place so nobody can be entering. Put security at the back and front, to see if anybody pelt over anything. Everybody need to come through the front gate to get checked,” he recommended.
a child bringing a weapon into school should not happen
The mother of a Second Form student also indicated that the security at school was “a little too laidback”. The parent who asked to remain anonymous voiced that she was fearful every day her son attended school due to the increasing school violence.
“It seems as if young people gone mad. They angry, they fighting. To me, it was annoying, frustrating and it was also scary. One minute you are hearing there was a noise and next you hear it was noise and somebody dropped their bag and a weapon was in it. To hear school locked down and these incidents happening, you are not sure, so you are a little scared,” she told Loop News.
Her son called her just after 12:30 pm and told her he was scared and to “come for him now!”. The mother said she jumped in her car, worrying along the way after she heard the school was locked down.
“The children need some kind of help, some kind of guidance. They are too angry and too violent and I just had enough of it.
“For me, a child bringing a weapon into school should not happen, so if there was some situation where they are searching bags or something needs to be checked or scanned, we need to go with that,” she advised.
Back in my day you fought with hands and fists, but now they are into knives
Today’s incident left many children traumatised, including Veradene Jacobs’ son. Jacobs told Loop News that her son is a “panicker” so she was prepared to rush to the Christ Church school plant after getting wind of the situation, but a teacher told her the situation was calm and to arrive once school is dismissed.
She also shared that her son and his friend were apprehensive about returning to the educational institution tomorrow.
“They are saying they don’t want to come school. I said all you have to do is pray that when you leave home, god covers you from being a bully or being bullied and when you leave home and go out you get home safely,” she told Loop.
On the other hand, parent Wayne Hutchinson voiced that he was not surprised by the increasing violence occurring in schools as it reflected a trend worldwide, especially in the United States where school shootings were a regular occurrence. However, he was concerned about what the future held for Barbados.
“I don’t see it as something unexpected. When you look at anywhere in the world, if you look at the States, what is going on in the schools? Shootings. You think it’s not going to happen in Barbados? Eventually.
“People react to what is happening overseas and how things happen, but you got to be ahead of what is happening in other countries to stop it from happening in your country. It is only a stepping stone. Back in my day you fought with hands and fists, but now they are into knives…someone will always take it a step further,” he added.