Log In

Reset Password

Father challenges Premier, Minister about violence at school

First Prev 1 2 3 Next Last
Making their voices heard: West End Primary School supporters held up a sign calling for the school to be saved at a town hall meeting on the Throne Speech (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Emergency Cabinet meetings have been held to address violence at CedarBridge Academy, David Burt revealed at a town hall meeting last night.

The Premier was responding to comments from a father of a CedarBridge student who said his daughter was attacked at the Devonshire school.

At the meeting at Warwick Workmen’s Club to discuss Throne Speech initiatives, the father said there had been widespread teacher absences that had enabled “an upsurge in violence” at the school.

The Premier was also challenged by numerous members of the audience to hold a public meeting in Somerset to address concerns about the planned closure of West End Primary School as part of government’s education reform.

Mr Burt said of the violent incidents at CedarBridge: “These things came to our attention after school went in.

“There were emergency Cabinet sessions that were held – these are the meetings that are taking place.

“There are specific questions that have been asked of the Minister of Education to follow up with, specific actions that have been asked of the chairman of the Board at the CedarBridge Academy.”

Qian Dickinson, left, moderated the town hall meeting at Warwick Workman's Club, and is pictured with David Burt. (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Diallo Rabain, the Minister of Education, also told the father: “If your daughter was attacked I expect that the school has done what it needs to do, to take care of that. There is security at the school for that. This is something that we will have to take a look at.”

Mr Rabain said the Government also had to deal with the wider issue of violence in the community, adding: “It is not just CedarBridge, it is all of our schools.

“It is easy to say that it is a society problem because it is, but you should be confident that when you send your children to our schools they are in a safe environment.

“The Cabinet is aware of this and we have the Social Development Committee that is looking specifically at the things you are talking about. We are talking about how we can tackle gang violence, how we can do things differently in our school system.

“It is a minority of students … suspension and sending them home to a further unstable environment is not working but having interventions in the school when they need to be removed, and to have more intensive interventions at another location, is something that needs to come into play and something we are looking to put in place in very short order.”

One member of the audience challenged Mr Rabain about the closure of West End Primary School as the audience applauded.

About 80 people turned up to the event and about half of them stood up in support of her comments before two people unravelled a banner that read “Save West End School”.

Mr Rabain said: “These are not easy decisions … at the forefront of the decisions that we make is what is best for our children.”

Mr Burt added: “There have been times that there have been attempts at education reform in this country that have not succeeded.

“I went to Somerset and spoke to persons. I understand that some persons want what’s best for them.

“The challenge that this country has had is that when difficult decisions are necessary to be made sometimes we take the politically expedient route, back up and in the end it is our children and next generation that suffer.”

Diallo Rabain, the Minister of Education, was challenged over education reform plans (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

You must be Registered or to post comment or to vote.

Published November 16, 2022 at 5:12 pm (Updated November 16, 2022 at 5:12 pm)

Father challenges Premier, Minister about violence at school

What you
Need to
1. For a smooth experience with our commenting system we recommend that you use Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Firefox or Chrome Browsers. Additionally please clear both your browser's cache and cookies - How do I clear my cache and cookies?
2. Please respect the use of this community forum and its users.
3. Any poster that insults, threatens or verbally abuses another member, uses defamatory language, or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned.
4. Users who violate the Terms of Service or any commenting rules will be banned.
5. Please stay on topic. "Trolling" to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted.
6. To understand further what is and isn't allowed and the actions we may take, please read our Terms of Service
7. To report breaches of the Terms of Service use the flag icon