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Dunkley: Help at-risk students choose right path

Focus on youth: Premier Michael Dunkley

A sharper focus on identifying at-risk youngsters in school will help Bermuda to tackle the scourge of gun and gang crime.

This from Premier Michael Dunkley as he urged parents to take the lead in helping children to choose the right path.

“We have a small number of our young people making poor decisions in their lives,” the Premier said this week as part of a wide-ranging interview. “We have to identify them and try and get them back on the right track.

“We need to focus on how we do a better job on how we identify people in the school system. It’s a shared responsibility between Government and the schools, and we should not forget the parents.

“Parents have the ultimate responsibility — and we all need to do a better job. I could have done a better job.”

Mr Dunkley’s comments come after string of shooting incidents in November and last month.

On Remembrance Day, November 11, a gunman opened fire outside Somerset Cricket Club, injuring four men. That came just a few hours after shots were fired outside the National Stadium shortly after the completion of the Dudley Eve Trophy football final. On December 8, Prince Edness was shot dead after he was pursued to a residence on South Avenue in Southampton.

The 29-year-old had been acquitted of murder by a Supreme Court jury a little more than two weeks earlier.

Mr Dunkley said that the latest spate of gun crime was a “serious concern” to Government.

He also outlined plans to further expand the Gang Resistance Education and Training initiative beyond primary and middle schools, where it had already proved successful.

He told The Royal Gazette: “As we make progress setting people in the right direction, we are going to have the lulls. We should never feel that this sense of calm will prevail. We can take some satisfaction from that fact the work we are doing is making a difference.

“The Police have done a good job in policing Bermuda and continue to get the community more involved.

“We have seen more prolonged periods of calm.

“Bermudians are very proud and sometimes we won’t reach out when we are in need.

“There are agencies out there that can help families during difficult times.

“So my challenge to parents is: let’s try and raise the standards of the way we raise our children.

“We can all do better.”