Minister of Education and Youth, Hon. Fayval Williams, is imploring Jamaicans to move beyond anger, outrage, frustration and fear, and take action to stamp out crime in the country.
“Let us make use of the opportunities available through Crime Stop and other channels to report what we see and know to be wrong, even as we exercise caution in protecting ourselves and our families. We cannot allow ourselves to be petrified by fear, otherwise, the criminals will succeed in their desire to intimidate the rest of us,” she pointed out.
She said that the Government and the police have certain responsibilities to protect citizens, but noted that too often, persons have allowed themselves to be overcome by the kind of fear that leads to inaction.
“We can’t continue like this,” she stated.
Minister Williams was addressing the thanksgiving service for the life of eight-year-old Danielle Rowe at the Portmore Seventh-day Adventist Church in St. Catherine on Sunday (July 23).
Danielle was taken from school on June 7, and died in hospital two days later, while undergoing treatment for injuries she sustained.
Minister Williams appealed for persons with information on the abduction and killing of the former Braeton Primary and Infant School student to come forward with the details.
She said it is not acceptable for persons not to say what they saw.
“We have expressed sadness and outrage. There have been demonstrations of condemnation, but beyond all of this, I ask, is there no one who saw something, anything that can help the police in their investigations?
“Are we so caught up in our own world that a little girl can be taken from busy Portmore to the heart of Kingston and no one saw anything strange or peculiar?” the Minister asked.
She said that the Government, along with the entire education fraternity, stands with Danielle’s family.
“Danielle lived a short life but brought much joy and laughter to the lives of those closest to her,” she noted, in expressing sorrow at her passing.
The Minister said that the Administration is committed to putting the measures in place to safeguard children and noted that citizens also have a role to play.
“While as a Government, we can put in place the infrastructure to monitor school premises, representatives from the education system will not be everywhere all the time. But as Jamaicans, we can be, and should be our brothers and sisters and children’s keepers and guardians,” Minister Williams said.