Home Letters Should peace officers be allowed to make arrests on school campuses?
Discipline is something that society has lost sight of, or should we say a virtue that has long been laid aside; and in its place is mere lawlessness and rough and uncouth behaviour. Among the places where such behaviours are prevalent are our schools; instead of being institutions of learning and refinement, they have now become places where there are frequent brawls and other crazy attacks. It saddens me to see the depths into which society has fallen, with the epicenter, so to speak, being our schools.
On this note, I shall address an incident reported in the media. That incident took place at one of our secondary schools in the greater Demerara area, and the gravity of the matter necessitated the intervention of law enforcement officers.
We cannot ignore the fact that something untoward happened at that school, that may have necessitated the teacher calling in law enforcement. And, like I said earlier, it is a sad reality when law officers have to be called in to our educational institutions to address matters of gross misconduct.
In this instance, we are not privy to all the finer details of the story, because of the reporting; but what I am pretty sure of is that this incident is not the first of its kind, and it is by no means unique, hence the need for timely intervention of the Police.
So, let me relate to you a situation that took place over here. A female teacher spoke to a male student about his non-submission of a school-based assessment (SBA) project, and he bluntly refused to give the teacher an appropriate answer. He was later taken to the principal, where the same behaviour continued.
Accordingly, the principal asked the student to leave the school’s premises and go home. The student still did not comply, but was seen lurking in the school’s compound, issuing threats to the said teacher. At this stage, the principal had no alternative but to call in law enforcement, who effectively carried out his removal.
The point to note here is that schools are institutions of learning where rules exist, chief among those being discipline. Students have to realise that they are in a place where rules exist, and if these are not complied with, then sterner measures would have to be applied to ensure compliance. Our institutions are not governed by the whims and fancies of a few misguided folks, but by strict guidelines, and no one is exempted.
However, I must say that schools are by no means places governed by dictatorships, and if a student feels unfairly dealt with, then that student has recourse: either take it up with the educational authorities, or even take it to court. In the meantime, everyone must respect schools’ rules, and
students must comply with the dictates of their school, not the other way round.
So, I close by giving an answer to the question. Should peace officers be allowed to make arrests on school campuses? And the answer to that is yes. Once the matter has reached the level where the school cannot handle it, then law enforcement is mandated to step in.