Frustrated parents, who are fearful for their children’s lives after several threats of shootings and bombings were made to schools which they attend, on Tuesday picketed the Public Security Ministry where they told reporters that they are offering a reward of $1 million to anyone who has information that may lead to the arrest of the perpetrator/s.
This comes in light of the shooting of School of the Nations’ Director, Dr Brian O’Toole, who was shot at his home as he was returning from a dinner meeting.
This step to offer a reward was taken by the parents, as they said they believe the police and the Education Ministry are not doing enough to cushion the wounds of their children caused by these threats and to help with the investigative process.
One parent, Anna Lisa Fraser-Phang, who is also the President of the Parent Teachers Association (PTA) of School of the Nations complained that the “PTA has actually spoken to the Assistant Commissioner. We’ve asked and pleaded with him to make a statement since Friday night and we were chastised (and) told that we had no right to tell them what to do while we were just suggesting what they need to do to appease not only the parents of the children of School of the Nations but to the general public”.
According to her, to date no official from the Public Security Ministry or the Guyana Police Force has spoken officially to the parents.
In addition, the President of the PTA argued that the Education Ministry has been doing nothing to help the situation.
She said a meeting was scheduled with the parents who have children attending School of the Nations where they were merely told “they would do whatever they can”.
Fraser Phang told this newspaper, “When Monday rolled around, and we were expecting and told that we would have the Mobile (Unit) and counsellors available to our children at the School of the Nation, we have not seen any of them.”
The parent said she understands that the counselling service was extended to other schools, although that school needs it just as much as any other school.
“We were offered very little and given even less, we demand more of our authorities,” the parents cried.
It is because of their belief that little is being done by the police that they have decided to offer a reward of $1 million for any information on the threats.
Jerry Gouveia, a concerned parent said, “At this point in time what we’re looking for is just to get something done to put us in a position where people understand that we are under threat and we are serious about doing something about it”.
Meanwhile, John Ramsingh, another parent explained that the situation is worrisome.
“We would just like the authorities to give us some answers to tell us, you know, it’s safe to send your children back to school because we have ‘A, B, C’ in custody (and) we have questioned ‘X, Y, Z’. We need to know something,” the concerned parent said.
The parents used the opportunity to appeal to other parents to pay heed to the affairs of their children’s lives.
“Feel free to check their phones and see what they’re up to. Be aware of who their friends are and see what their friends are up to,” the PTA Head posited.
Persons who have any information on the threats can make contact with the police who will filter to the information to the parents to provide the reward.
Last Friday, Queens College and the Bishops’ High School were on lockdown after social media accounts created on Whatsapp, Facebook and Instagram, issued threats to students there.
These accounts are reportedly the same which issued threats at School of the Nations.
The situation is being taken very seriously by parents since the Director of School of the Nations was shot at his home amid these worrying threats.