Editorial
February 5, 2010
Truancy Officers needed in SVG

05.FEB.10

IT SEEMS the time has come for Government to effect the provisions made in the Education Act of 2008 for Truancy Officers to be hired.

With all the strides made in this country in education, and all the effort made to ensure that every child of school age has a place in a modern, well-equipped school, it is sad that there are still some of our children who seem not to appreciate why it is important for them to go to school.{{more}}

A random visit to video arcades around the country at any time during the day will turn up children, mostly boys, who should be in school learning to read. One year ago, we carried a story of a 13-year-old girl who was pulled off a minivan by her mother at about 11 o’clock in the morning when she should have been at school.

Just this week we received reports of the large numbers of habitual latecomers at the Dr. J.P. Eustace Memorial Secondary School at Edinboro, a situation we understand is not unique to that school. That the principal of that school has had to go to the bus terminal in Kingstown to order loiterers to get onto the vans so that they can arrive at school on time speaks volumes.

Our principals and teachers have enough on their hands trying to impart knowledge and life skills to students, who come to them with a wide array of learning disabilities. Expecting them to run around behind the students to force them into the school buildings is expecting way too much of them.

Lessons from the guilty verdict

No one should take delight at this week’s guilty verdict in the case where three police detectives were charged with assaulting a teenage boy. However, this case should serve as a lesson to all police officers that the life of every human being with whom they come into contact must be respected.

One also wonders why was there the need for such a strong police presence in court on Tuesday when the verdict in the case was given. All the branches of  the police force were present, some, from the Rapid Response Unit and the Special Services Unit, even came heavily armed.

It is also interesting to note that none of the police officers who took the stand as witnesses in the case admitted to seeing or hearing anyone beat the teenager. Is loyalty to a fellow police officer more important than truth and justice?

Another worrying aspect of the case was the confession under oath by two of the accused that they had lied in their reports to their superior. It seems only natural to wonder how widespread is this practice.

Congratulations are in order for Director of Public Prosecutions Colin Williams who took on this case despite tremendous resistance from law enforcement authorities. It must have been difficult for him to prosecute persons with whom he has to work on a regular basis. However, he did his job well, and in the end justice won.