The Ministry of Education and Youth will provide psychosocial support for students at Kingston Technical High School following the fatal stabbing of a pupil at the institution recently.
Education and Youth Minister, Hon. Fayval Williams, said that the intervention will involve collaboration with various agencies.
She noted that officers from the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA) have already visited the institution and engaged with the students.
“We will continue to support all the students here at Kingston Technical High School as you manage through this grieving process,” the Minister said, during a visit to the school’s Hanover Street location in downtown Kingston this morning (October 3).
“You’re going to continue to grieve; you’re going to continue to ask the questions; you’re going to sometimes in the middle of the night wake up and remember your schoolmate. Many of you were present when it happened. We need to give you special psychosocial support that can help you to deal with all the emotions that you continue to feel,” she told them.
“You’re going to go through many more stages but we’re here to help you and to continue to provide the support,” she stressed.
Minister Williams said that the Ministry will also reach out to the families that have been directly impacted by the incident that resulted in the death of 16-year-old Michion Campbell.
“We know that they are both grieving. We have lost two students, one died because of stabbing and the other one, we know that life is going to be different. The law is going to have to take its course, but we have to ensure that we provide support as well for the family and to see how best we can get them through the situation,” she pointed out.
The Minister said the incident should not be used as a moment to blame but “for all of us to pause and say, ‘how can we make our school a safer place, how can we ensure that when we come here, we come here to get the maximum that we can in terms of our learning’.”
She urged students to find peaceful ways of resolving conflicts that may arise, noting that the incident occurred despite the presence of metal detectors and searches conducted at the school.
“We have to reach the hearts and minds of you our students. We have to reach the hearts and minds of families from which you come, to help them to help you to be the student that we want you to be, to be able to relate to each other peacefully and to manage those conflict situations that you may find yourselves in,” she noted.
She said that the Ministry will continue to work with the principal and staff at the institution.
“Let us continue to work together; let us continue to provide the guidance for the students, the support, the psychosocial support so that we get them through this period. Every single one of them is going to need the support to understand what happened here and to help them through this grieving process,” the Minister added.
Jhuss Khool – Chip Glock (Audio Visual)