Letters & Opinion

We Need to Protect Our Children

IN less than a minute; in the twinkle of an eye; in the moment of inhalation and exhalation, my humble and stupendous daughter could have lost her precious, irreplaceable gift of life.

On Wednesday 6th March 2019, immediately after disembarking the bus, at her usual bus stop up the Morne to attend her late morning class at the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College (SALCC) evil confronted her. A hooded frightful fiend, with a knife – (the size meant to scare the living daylight out of her) demanded that she pass her phone to him. My daughter’s horror and misfortune could have been worse, praises be to the Creative Principle, that rainy morning another bus pulled up. The fiend took off with the phone.

What if that other bus did not arrive soon after that malevolent attacker assaulted my daughter? What more would that vulture want? What if due to her heart palpitating in the sickness of fear, she had hesitated to ‘pass’ the phone? Would I have felt her nervous fever as she related her ordeal? Would I have ever enjoyed a day at the beach with her again?

What would I have to say about her dreams denied? What would I have to say about the fruits of her labour unharvested? Thank You, God, for everything – she is still here to continue her journey.

Criminal minds roam the perimeter of SALCC Campus, hunting their innocent prey, anxious to devour. Their evil intent burning and concealed under bushes and street corners. My daughter’s traumatic episode is not novel. As I relate her experience to colleagues and family, they in turn shared numerous incidents of similar nature that have taken place in this vicinity. Teachers have been robbed, attempted rapes have occurred, and my daughter’s friends have suffered similar horrific experience.

What is the response of the authorities and the community to these brutal and dreadful incidents? These are sensitive and urgent matters. It is well known that these horrid incidents have happened countless times before. What is being done to implement a strategic security plan to make the campus safer and more conducive for learning? Our children attend this educational institution. This situation is frightening and cannot be left to fester. There is an urgent need for action and effective action is the clarion call.

With deep concern,
Stevaco Joseph.

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