Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 11th 2014 Contents RHONDOR DOWLAT
Security at the Success/Laventille Sec-
ondary School will be heightened from
today in the wake of the murder of student
Salim Dalzell in front the school last Fri-
day. There will also be police patrols out-
side the school and its environs from 6
The situation comes as the Ministry of
Education grapples with a spate of school
violence across the country in recent weeks
where students seem to be "getting out of
The decision to provide more security at
Success/Laventille was taken yesterday fol-
lowing a meeting with the school s teachers
and officials from the Ministry of Education,
T&T Police Service (TTPS), including mem-
bers of the Inter-Agency Task Force, and
the T&T Unified Teachers Association
Teachers at the school were said to be
still traumatised by the incident, since some
of them were sent scampering for their
lives when gunmen opened fire on Dalzell,
17, in an attack just after school.
TTUTA president Devanand Sinanan told
the T&T Guardian that during the meeting,
the police assured the teachers there would
be patrols from 6 am to 6 pm everyday.
The number of MTS security guards will
also be increased from two to five and the
perimeter wall at the back of the school,
which is often scaled by outsiders to gain
access to the school compound for various
reasons, including selling drugs and gang-
related activities, will be raised.
Sinanan also said several pupils believed
to be heavily involved in ongoing gang war-
fare at the school have already been iden-
tified and will be suspended pending the
completion of investigations by the police.
But he said teachers were angry at the
meeting and expressed disappointment in
the police, as they said a teacher had made
an SoS call to the police at about 2.03 pm
on Friday, alerting them to the possibility
that violence could occur.
"The teacher said they were alerted that
the pupil (Dalzell) was outside the gates of
"They said he was suspended and had
apparently returned to deal with some
"The teacher said a call was put through
to the police, where they informed them
of the situation and the seriousness of it.
"The teacher said no police came around
and believed that the killing could have
been avoided had the police responded,"
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Counsellors will visit Success/Laventille from
today to offer services to the traumatised teachers
and students in the wake of Friday s killing.
Sinanan said many teachers, students and parents
now feared there would be reprisal attacks at the
school in the wake of Salim Dalzell s killing.
According to police reports, Dalzell, 17, was gunned
down while standing outside the school gate around
2.45 pm. Terrified and traumatised teachers disclosed
they heard about 21 gunshots during the attack.
Some of them and their students had to run for
cover to save their own lives.
The Ministries of National Security, Education,
Social Development and Gender, Youth and Child
Development will also meet today to discuss the
issue of rising violence in schools.
High on its agenda will be the implementation
of security and social measures to curb violence
and to strengthen further security measures in the
nation s schools.
In the past week school violence has again been
a front-burner issue in T&T, as there were several
reports of bullying, school fights and attacks on
teachers and their property at the Carapichaima
West Secondary School, Tranquility Government
Secondary School and Cunupia High School.
Then came the murder of a student outside the
Success/Laventille Composite School last Friday,
an incident linked to gang activity within the school.
Contacted yesterday, National Security Minister
Gary Griffith said his ministry had done compre-
hensive research and analysis on what was required
to curb school violence.
He said: "It is more than just police patrols. We
will be looking at implementing undercover police
officers, introducing more scanners and improving
the quality of private security to deal with situa-
Violence in schools occurs in communities where
there are high levels of:
• Easy access to drugs and arms and ammunition.
• Substance abuse.
• Low commitment to school.
• Delinquency, violence and incidence of gangs and
• No identified line of authority.
A recent trend has shown that violence has become
more prevalent due to:
• Changes in the moral and values of our society.
• Lack of consequence for one's actions.
• The perception of inequity, based on one's location
and life situations.
Tuesday, November 11, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
More security at
Sinanan said police gave an assurance
that from now on they will treat with all
reports relating to school violence and
threats as serious and give them
He added: "The situation is a grave
one but not surprising to me. We are
looking at a number of initiatives at the
national level on how to deal with the
"Too many children are not prepared
for school. They have no concept on
what schooling and a proper education
entails. They have no sense of discipline,
no sense of value and purpose, no sense
of respect for their parents, elders,
teachers and the laws of this land.
"We do not want to reach the point of
having military zones for schools
because that is not the way how school
is supposed to be. We have to have an
interim measure to regain that sense of
Sinanan said there were also ongoing
discussions on establishing a centre for
troubled pupils who will be identified
and relocated to these facilities for
rehabilitation, including anger
management and problem-solving, until
they are ready to be reintegrated into
the school system.
He added that a community group
would also be assisting by visiting the
homes of pupils, where they could work
along with them, their parents and
going in today
Students in gang activity to be suspended
for 10TH NOVEMBER, 2014
Dr Tim Gopeesingh
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