Jamaican PM Holness to address school violence with social strategies | #schoolsaftey

Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness has underscored that the issue of violence in schools extends beyond the confines of educational institutions, labeling it a “social problem” that requires multifaceted responses from his government.

Holness emphasized the necessity of employing various social intervention strategies and programs to address the rising incidence of deadly confrontations among students.

During a recent meeting with Custos of Manchester Garfield Green, Holness articulated his stance on the matter, highlighting the inadequacy of solely relying on security-oriented solutions.

“The truth is that the children are coming out of households which are not always reinforcing the values of society or reinforcing what is being taught in the schools, and many of these children are without guidance and direction,” Holness asserted on Wednesday.

Bullying needs to be addressed

Acknowledging the prevalence of bullying in some schools, Holness also emphasized the need for comprehensive social interventions, particularly targeting young males susceptible to gang culture. He outlined plans for one-on-one direct interventions aimed at steering individuals away from adopting such detrimental behaviors.

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“We will have the necessary social interventions (for that), both from the level of the security point-of-view, but more so from the engagement, particularly with our young males who are caught up in gang culture, even if they are not part of a gang, they try to model and adopt this gang culture, and the only way to treat with that is the one-on-one direct intervention,” Holness explained.

Furthermore, Holness pledged government support for the Beliefs, Values, and Attitudes (BVA) program, which facilitates interactions between Justices of the Peace (JPs) and students within school settings. He expressed confidence in the effectiveness of the announced measures in swiftly curbing the escalation of school violence.

“I am certain that we can bring school violence – the increase that we are seeing – under control very rapidly with the measures that I’ve announced,” Holness stated.

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