An aggravated burglary at the Corinth Secondary School last week may have passed but Acting District Officer Cyrus Cepal believes that the incident has both psychological and academic impact on students who are co-incidentally doing first-term exams.
Several males unlawfully accessed the school’s compound at about 3 a.m. on November 22, 2017 and according to police, during that time, one of the security got injured when a gunshot was fired towards the security booth. The guard in the booth –Sylvester Phillip, 48 – reported feeling pain to the back of his head. He was hospitalized and reported to be in a stable condition.
When students later arrived for school, they were not allowed in as police were combing through the building for evidence. School was cancelled for that day.
Cepal said that when crimes of that nature are committed, they not only affect the school physical structure but the entire community.
“Just knowing that they cannot be at school today, that’s even a great stress for their parents because the parents this morning would have known that they have sent their children to school and now they are getting the call that the children cannot continue school. So persons need to understand that when they do certain things they are not just affecting one person, two persons or just the building, but they are affecting an entire community because these children have to go back home,” Cepal said.
Cepal has acknowledged the need for greater security at schools on the island. He said that the ministry and government will be working together in that regard.
“Well, we know as we speak there are certain schools where we still do not have daytime security and this is something that we are working towards. The Ministry of Education [and] the Government of St. Lucia want to ensure that there is safety at all schools. Now first of all, we need to ensure that we have securities at all the schools and then when we have done that then we will consider the level of securities that we will decide to have at the school in terms of whether we’re going to have armed securities or whether we’re going to have the securities that we normally do – the traditional way. So this is something that has to be discussed at a very high level,” he said.
According to him, a policy decision that would bring the best benefits to all should be taken.