GNSO supports multi-sectoral approach to violence in schools

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Dear Editor

THE Guyana National Students’ Organisation (GNSO) has recognised the recent incidents of violent outbursts amongst students, parents and teachers.

GNSO’s Interim Committee of Management condemns the acts of violence.
GNSO highlights that violence as a course of action is degrading to our moral fabric. Outside of the physical threats, the effects of school violence include vandalism and loss of school facilities, moral decadence, increased crime rates, erosion of cultural values and poor reputations for schools as well as societies.

The school system can sometimes have a way of dismissing violent acts, such as bullying, as misdemeanours, but this is a dangerous oversight in light of the serious incidents that are unfolding.

In addition to this, the legal system in many areas is yet to develop specific laws that will help curb school violence and make it an offence appropriately punishable by law.
GNSO will support a multi-sectoral approach to the eradication of this scourge from our moral fabric.

GNSO believes that parents and guardians have a key role to play and should ensure that the atmosphere at home, where the child is nurtured, is violence-free and that they foster effective communication between themselves and their children in an effort to combat school violence.

Schools need to make their environments more conducive to learning and tailor teaching to engage all students. There should be more understanding and time given to address the social needs of students and strict but fair consequences for violent behaviour.
Schools and universities should have counselling sessions, and counsellors should sometimes sit in classrooms to identify violent traits and thus prevent outbreaks.
GNSO advocates for stronger security measures upon entering schools and universities.
Policy-makers must devise and uphold non-violence in schools for both teachers and students.

Community organisations, supported by governments, should make concerted efforts to reach out to students in a counselling and mentoring capacity and work with them to explore ways to express themselves without the use of violence.
Violence is a village issue, not an individual one.

Regards
Interim Committee of Management,
Communications Officer- Dornel Mcfarlane