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Education Ministry probing assault of 7-y-o at Clark's Town Primary

Thursday, November 09, 2017

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Education, Youth & Information Minister Senator Ruel Reid says that a thorough probe will be carried out at the Clark's Town Primary School in Trelawny, where a seven-year-old boy was assaulted by his peers.

Reid said as a parent, he finds the matter disturbing and empathises with the mother and the victim and will ensure that the issue is properly ventilated.

He said the ministry, through its regional director and education officers, will constantly monitor and report to him on the situation as the investigation unfolds.

In a press release a short while ago, he urged that the public and the media handle the matter with care as everyone should appreciate the sensitive nature of the incident.

He said based on preliminary reports, the matter could have been more efficiently handled as it relates to the care and protection of the children involved in the incident.

A meeting was convened by the school board on Wednesday November 8, 2017 with all parties concerned present, according to the release.

It was agreed that:

1. Immediate training of the school board was to be organised by Ministry of Education, Youth & Information personnel to adequately empower the school board with the skills sets, knowledge and guidelines that govern child care and protection and critical incidents in general.

2. The principal is to recruit a suitably qualified applicant for the position of School Security Officer on the ministry's Apprenticeship Programme. This person will manage the gate operations with training other matters relating to the general security and safety of children on the school's compound.

3. Educational Social Worker is to visit school community in order to conduct a social enquiry report on the parties involved.

The ministry said it now awaits the official findings and recommendations of the investigations from both the Office of the Children's Advocate and the Child Development Agency.

The minister said he is also awaiting the formal report from the school board and action will be taken in accordance with the code of regulation.

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