KAS teachers take to street in protest against series of break-ins
December 10, 2013
KAS teachers take to street in protest against series of break-ins

Teachers of the Kingstown Anglican School (KAS) took to the picket line Friday, protesting a series of burglaries that have been taking place on the compound.{{more}}

Steward of the union at the KAS Deborah Charles told SEARCHLIGHT that there had been two break-ins last week, with the most recent being on the night of December 5.

“Monday morning, we came here and the school was also broken into. Monies were stolen this time. Today (Friday), we are not even sure what was stolen because everybody’s, the desks, the cupboards, the filing cabinets, everything was broken into. We don’t even know what was missing,” Charles said.

She added that the point of entry of the burglars was through louvers which were located at the back of the school.

The school was also broken into on October 23, 2013, the anniversary of a series of burglaries that began in 2012.

Charles stressed that the school has lost very important documents because of the burglaries and that the teachers and students are being negatively affected.

“Our computer was stolen a few weeks ago and that computer has all the data for the school. I have been here 13 years and that computer was here before that, so you know that we would have had a myriad of information on that computer. Now, if you steal that, you’re practically saying ‘close down the school’, because we have nothing to give to anybody who would want a transcript [or] whatever that we would have had documented there,” she said.

“It’s been affecting the morale of the teachers, because if you come into work on a daily basis and your school is being broken into, your desk is being broken into, teaching materials are being taken. The children are fully aware and they too are upset”.

The steward indicated that there is someone responsible for watching the school at night. She stated that teachers are not aware of who this person is, because that person’s shift starts at 6 p.m., long after teachers have gone home.

Additionally, Charles noted that efforts to better secure the school have proved futile, particularly because of the cost associated with doing so.

“We have tried to get some burglar bars, to access them ourselves, but that has proven to be very expensive. We have sought some help from community personnel and we have gotten a few things. We can’t start the work yet, because we don’t have enough material to do it,” she said.

As Charles stood a few feet away from her colleagues, who were protesting in a quiet and civil manner, she told SEARCHLIGHT that it was a form of appeal to the persons responsible, to either provide better security conditions for the institution or build a new school to house them.

“It has been going on for over a year. I think that something has got to be done to assist the children and the teachers of the school. Personally, I think we need a new school. We need a school building to call our own. This building had belonged to the vagrants for a number of years, and I believe right now we are sitting in the bedroom of the vagrants. They want to reclaim it, so give us a school.

“This is an appeal to the powers that be. Either to give us a school building we can call our own, or to give us some added security to enhance education. The revolution would not be successful if the students of Kingstown Anglican School and teachers are not very happy because the work would not go on as it should,” she said.

Currently, the upper grades of the KAS are housed in the old glove factory building on Bay Street. The school relocated here from its main building in 2012, following a fire at Eustace Auto Supplies which caused some damage to the main school building. The lower grades of the KAS are housed at the building which formerly housed the Emmanuel High School and the Bethel High School at the Victoria Park. (BK)