14 September 2021
KPSM and stakeholders seek ways to curb incidents at and around schools
The Police Force of Sint Maarten KPSM has had to answer several calls for assistance at schools due to student-involved fights and other offenses involving minors since the start of the school year.
To tackle these types of behaviors and lay a foundation to reduce incidents in the future, KPSM recently initated a meeting with education and related stakeholders and the Prosecotor’s Office. Various short-term plans were proposed for tackle the issue. The purpose was to find way to safeguard current and future students who are not part of disorderly behavior and to allow them to continue with their lessons undisturbed.
Parallel to that, a special activities program was created by KPSM in the short term especially for the problematic youngsters who caused the most difficulties. The program will allow for the participants to be evaluated by stakeholders for future risk and targeted attention. This program was put together very rapidly by KPSM and is already in execution.
For the long-term, integrated and sustainable solutions via a concerted effort of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth, Sports, Ministry of Public Health, Social Development, and Labour, and the Ministry of Justice are needed to tackle the problems.
Police have a zero tolerance policy for school- and gang fights. Parents and guardians are urged to take an active role in their children’s lives. This is paramount in tackling disruptive and violence behavior in now and in the future.
The plight of the children and the triggers for violence require a concerted and targeted approach by all in the community. These are no longer isolated issues, but ones of profound impact on the society and requires everyone to take on their (assigned) roles.
The root of the aggression of our children and the violence triggers must be tackled post haste to disrupt the path that leads to criminality and children becoming the subjects cases handled by the Prosecutor’s Office.
To all of Sint Maarten students, think before you act aggressively, keep tempers in check, and avoid criminal activities. Bear in mind that, getting in contact with the law can harm your future prospects – everything from gaining entrance into institutions of higher education to job opportunities.
It is also very important for you as students to speak up if you notice illegal activities in and around your schools. To “say something when you see something” does not equal to snitching or ratting out a fellow student, because it is the responsibility of everyone to do their part to ensure there is a safe environment to learn and thrive in. Remember, it is for your safety too!