Education Ministry says it will take on coercion in schools …

The Gleaner carried this story on April 10th following on the accusations of older lesbian students supposedly abusing younger girls, interestingly the ministry jumps quickly to address this issue but the problem in co-ed schools remains any by extension the mainstream on buses and taxis where inappropriate behaviour and sexual realtions with older men and school girls goes on with limited monitoring it looks on the surface.

Let us see where this takes us, one hopes we do not hear or see in the correcting of the issue of abuse that what may remotely look as reparative therapy towards the same sex attracted students and that the measures only address the allegations of abuse and not sexual orientation

Have a read of the article and see what you make of it.

Jamaica Gleaner Company

Ready To Take On School Sex – Thwaites Vows To Tackle Inappropriate Behaviour At All-Girls’ Institutions

Ronald Thwaites

Nadisha Hunter, Staff Reporter

A Ministry of Education report on investigations into allegations of forced sexual activities at some local girls’ schools is expected to be ready this week. Education Minister Ronald Thwaites, told The Gleaner yesterday that the ministry had conducted the investigation into the matter and was awaiting the results.

Thwaites said that, based on the outcome, the ministry would intervene to put an end to any such activity at the schools.

Early last month it was revealed that authorities at a prominent Corporate Area all-girls high school were struggling to deal with several alleged sexual attacks on young girls by older students.

School authorities had summoned parents to an emergency meeting as more and more young girls began reporting horror stories of cases where they were forced to perform sexual acts with older girls at the institution.

The Gleaner understood that some girls in the upper school regularly sought to recruit the young girls from the first and second forms.

Thwaites declared he was ready to take the appropriate action to rid the education system of the behaviour.

“The ministry must do two things; one, it must articulate very clearly the inappropriateness of any kind of sexual pressure in schools and, second, it must get the school community, which includes parents, teachers, all workers and the students themselves, to avoid any instance of this kind of pressure,” the minister stressed.

Thwaites said training for both teachers and parents was essential in order to better the system.

“This is where I think continuing professional development of our teachers is very important so that they know the signs, that they don’t over exaggerate and that they are adept at counselling young children and adults.

“This is also to emphasise the importance of vigorous parenting programmes so that parents can become active collaborators and fully informed persons who can assist their children in going through the sometimes turbulent years of growing up,” he added.

Principals concerned

The problem of sexual attacks had attracted the attention of the Jamaica Association of Principals of Secondary Schools (JAPSS) and Children’s Advocate Diahann Gordon Harrison.

JAPSS President Sharon Reid, had admitted this was a problem in some schools and that the matter would be a major item of discussion at a retreat scheduled for next month under the theme ‘Facing Challenges of Leadership Together’.

Gordon Harrison had said there needed to be a public-education campaign to sensitise the offenders about the breaches they have committed.

nadisha.hunter@gleanerjm.com

Author: GLBTQ Jamaica Moderator

Activist and concerned gay man in Jamaica with over 19 years experience in advocacy and HIV/AIDS prevention work, LGBT DJ since 1996.

1 thought on “Education Ministry says it will take on coercion in schools …”

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