EDUCATION Minister Anthony Garcia says a breach by a security officer allowed an assailant to attack a teacher with an ice pick in Arouca.
He was responding to an urgent question in Senate Wednesday from Opposition Senator Wade Mark on an incident that occurred at St Pius Boys RC on Monday afternoon. The attacker has remained at large while the teacher remained warded at hospital in stable condition under police guard.
Mark's initial question was whether any counselling was being offered to the students following the attack. Garcia replied that counselling services were provided and continue to be provided by a team of guidance officers and social workers from the Student Support Services Division who visited the school Tuesday and met with the students and provided counselling and intervention services. He also reported Employee Assistance Programme personnel also visited and provided support for members of staff.
He said follow-up services for students and teachers would be provided as the need arose.
Mark asked what facilitated a stranger invading the compound of the school without being detected by the security personnel. Garcia said there was a breach in the protocol arrangements that were in place for all schools.
"There are provisions that must be followed by the security officers in terms of entry and exit of our schools."
He said if a person arrived at a school, the security officer was the first person they should come into contact with and the officer had the responsibility to ask their business.
"If the security officer is convinced that that business is legitimate then the security officer has to escort that person to the office of the principal. The principal, the vice principal or other staff authorities will take it from there. What had happened was simply a breach in the protocol with respect to the security officer."