There has been a series of mass meetings in Anguilla, over the past several days, aimed at addressing school violence once and for all.
The latest meeting, at the Rodney MacArthur Rey Auditorium, on Wednesday, February 10, was for parents of students enrolled at the Albena Lake-Hodge Comprehensive School. It was hosted by the school’s Parent’s Council.
The forum provided parents with an opportunity to voice their concerns and make recommendations for corrective action. Teachers and officials from the Department and Ministry of Education were also in attendance. They were on hand to meet and partner with parents on the enhancement of existing school policies and, where necessary, to implement new ones.
The meeting was occasioned by a sit-in by teachers at Campus B on Friday, February 5, following an incident where a teacher disciplined a student who then, in revenge, allegedly assaulted that teacher’s child at the Orealia Kelly Primary School.
Among those who addressed the parents was the Minister of Education and Social Development, Ms. Dee-Ann Kentish-Rogers. “The circumstances in which we meet are not ideal,” she stated. “It is not the best circumstances to come together to discuss what’s happening in our schools but it is an opportunity for us to find solutions together. So it is not all about the officials speaking to you, it is about you, as parents, speaking to us, letting us know what your expectations are and what your concerns are so that we can make a concerted effort to solving them together.”
Other speakers were: Chief Education Officer, Mr. Bren Romney; President of the Parent Teachers’ Association and Methodist Minister, Rev. Wilmoth Hodge; and the Principal, Mrs. Rita Celestine Carty.
Various matters were discussed during the meeting among the various attendees who formed into several groups to examine behavioural policies and other matters affecting the school, teachers and students.