WHILE president of the National Primary Schools Principals Association Cogland Griffith is not in disagreement with the responsibility of principals regarding safety and security for students at schools, he said it is also the responsibility of the Education Ministry to provide proper tools and resources for principals.
Garcia placed the onus of security on principals in the wake of several incidents of law-breaking at several schools last week, including a pregnant teacher being attacked by a parent; another being robbed of her van at gunpoint and two security guards being robbed by cutlass-wielding bandits.
Griffith said more has to be done not only by principals but all stakeholders to ensure the well-being of students. He said the Education Act speaks about the safety and security of students and this mandate given of every principal in primary and secondary schools.
“While we understand the safety and security is part of our mandate, it can’t be put in one blanket like that. You must remember we are employed by the ministry and we work for the ministry and that’s our employer. Therefore, in tandem with the employer, we would see about security so there should be things that are in place,” Griffith said.
Griffith said principals are responsible for the physical safety and security of students, but the employer must provide proper resources to enable principals to carry out their mandate.
He said there is a need for more security officers at school. “We need proper security guards, enough security guards in our schools. Not one security guard per school because if you are asking the same security guard to leave the guard booth to take visitors to and from the principal’s office, who will be in the booth? “Who secures the booth at that particular time? It may be you will need more than one security officer in the schools at a time. We really have to do more in light of what is happening and what we are seeing in our schools,” Griffith said.