JIS: Education, Youth and Information Minister, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, says the Government is firmly committed to putting additional measures in place to ensure the safety of the nation’s children.
“We are going to do all we can to make sure that our schools are safe, to make sure we put in improved security across our country,” he said.
He was addressing students and staff of the Green Pond High School in Cornwall Court, St. James, on Wednesday (Feb.8) when he visited the institution to offer condolences at the tragic death of 15-year-old student Shineka Gray.
Senator Reid said he joins those who are mourning the death of Shineka and other youth, who would have fallen victim to crime.
“I am very saddened, outraged and I hope that we can find those persons very quickly and bring them to justice. Let us resolve in ourselves that we will be agents of change for Jamaica. No more must we see evidence of criminality hurting our children, impacting Jamaica’s future,” he said.
Minister Reid also encouraged students to take an interest in their own safety and ensure that they only travel in authorised taxis, tell someone where they are going and who they are travelling with.
“I am encouraging us to be alert as we protect ourselves from criminals. We will have to stand together, expose them, tell what we know when we see things happening that ought not to be happening. Let the authorities know, let your principal know what is happening with you…we have to take care of you; you are Jamaica’s future,” he said.
The Education Minister said the time has come for Jamaica to return to the days when the whole community was involved in raising children.
“What we want is to go back to that stage where we cared for each other, where the village raised the children and you as students must practise these good habits. Let us work together; let us take care of each other,” he urged.
Senator Reid was accompanied on the visit by the Ministry’s Western Regional Director, Dr. Michelle Pinnock; and Director of Safety and Security in Schools, Assistant Superintendent of Police, Coleridge Minto.
CAPTION: Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid (centre), commiserates with classmates of the late Shineka Gray when the visited St. James-based institution on February 8 to offer condolences at the tragic death of the 15-year-old student. Principal of the school, Michael Ellis (2nd left); and Director of Safety and Security in Schools, Assistant Superintendent of Police, Coleridge Minto, look on.