Shortly after students’ return to face-to-face learning, disturbing instances of school violence have emerged.
A video showing female students embroiled in a brawl at the YMCA in St John’s on Monday has been widely circulated on social media across Antigua and Barbuda.
Director of Education Clare Browne said the ministry continues to condemn all acts of violence.
Browne explained that he is yet to see the video but believes that the principals of the schools the students attend could handle the matter without referral to the ministry.
However, he has made an appeal for students to resolve their conflicts through non-violent means.
“The Ministry of Education condemns all acts of violence. We try to have our students settle their issues in non-violent ways; that is what we have been practicing.
“It is about tolerance, it is about positive behaviour management. We have expended a lot of money with the aid of [children’s charity] UNICEF, trying to get students to behave positively,” Browne told Observer yesterday.
“People are going to have differences of opinion all the time. People have different experiences but they need to find another way to dialogue and to settle their differences, sometimes agree to disagree and move on,” he added.
Similarly, teachers’ union officials in Grenada have recently highlighted what appears to be a rise in school violence there, and police in Jamaica have been confiscating materials often used as weapons — such as scissors, knives, dividers and small toothed combs with sharp edges – from warring students.