GLEANER: Minister of Education Ruel Reid said the Government is prepared to take disruptive students from the regular school system and place them in what he is proposing as ‘Time Out’ facilities.
Speaking to journalists during a Gleaner Editors’ Forum held at the newspaper’s offices in central Kingston, the education minister said that starting with Kingston and St Andrew, serious consideration is being given to establish special facilities to treat children who display deviant behaviour.
He indicated that the moral decay that continues to plague the society has resulted in a breakdown in family structures, which then produces children with severe behavioural challenges.
“We are a bold administration and it was something I had to do at JC (Jamaica College). There have been students who required deliberate and specialised treatment, where they do a whole cycle on social analysis to drill down to some of the issues. Meaning, therefore, that some of them can’t remain in the regular classroom for awhile,” the minister said.
“We can dance around it as much as we would like but we are now going to be moving ahead to see how we can establish in each region, in the first instance, Kingston and St Andrew, to establish time-out facilities so that those students with serious challenges would have to be taken out temporarily, treat them and bring them back,” he continued.
Reid said the ministry will be strident in ensuring that discipline and holistic development become the pillars that guide all educational institutions.
“It doesn’t mean that they are necessarily not going to have educational opportunities while they are out, but I don’t like the notion of having children in a regular school that you can’t control,” he said.
CAPTION: A policeman from the bicycle patrol team searches a group of schoolboys who were seen loitering in the St William Grant Park in downtown Kingston