Education cannot take place in a context of violence or warfare.
So said Bishop Clyde Harvey of St Georges-in-Grenada in a January 16 statement on the violent events in the nation’s schools.
He observed that recent incidents indicate that parents are becoming the agents of such violence.
“Parents send their children to school to be educated and formed for life in society. Parents must never be the instigators of such violence,” Bishop Harvey said.
He mentioned that at times, tensions are taken beyond the school compound into the streets. School staff now, the Bishop said, have to protect their schools from further violence in the school after the initial incidents.
A Loop News article January 13 reported that a 31-year-old woman appeared before a St George’s Magistrate charged with the offence of causing harm after she allegedly hit a student during a recent incident at a school. The magistrate granted the perpetrator EC$4,000 bail and ordered that she return to court February 24, 2023.
The Royal Grenada Police Force has since warned people against going to school and attacking students and staff.
Bishop Harvey outlined anytime a parent is seen to encourage a child to violence towards teachers or other children, that parent will be asked to remove his or her child from the school until the matter is fully investigated by the Ministry of Education, the Catholic Board, and the Police.
“We will not tolerate such behaviour in our Catholic schools. It should not be tolerated in any school,” said Bishop Harvey.
He then reiterated, “we cannot allow this situation to get beyond the control of those who bear responsibility for education in our small state.”
The nation’s education system, the Bishop said, must focus now on both children and parents. Successful certification can never be enough.
Rather, a deep and effective spiritual base for the system “is absolutely necessary,” Bishop Harvey said.
“This is about more than saying prayers. May God give us the wisdom and the courage to save our children and our schools.”