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JM | Oct 4, 2022

Education Ministry ramps up psychosocial support for Kingston Technical High after fatal stabbing

/ Our Today

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Education Minister Fayval Williams (second left) comforts Kingston Technical High student, Kayanna Lawrence (second right), whose classmate, Michion Campbell, was fatally stabbed by another student at the Hanover Street-based institution last week. Others (from left) are acting Region One director in the Ministry of Education and Youth, Suzan Bloomfield and Principal, Kingston Technical High School, Maulton Campbell. Minister Williams visited the institution yesterday October 3, 2022. (Photo: JIS)

The Ministry of Education reinvigorated its provision of psychosocial support for students at Kingston Technical High School following the fatal stabbing of a pupil at the institution last week.

Speaking with journalists yesterday morning (October 3), Education Minister Fayval Williams explained that the intervention will involve collaboration with various agencies.

She noted that officers from the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA) have already visited the institution and engaged with the students.

“We will continue to support all the students here at Kingston Technical High School as you manage through this grieving process,” the minister said, during a visit to the school’s Hanover Street location in downtown Kingston.

“You’re going to continue to grieve; you’re going to continue to ask the questions; you’re going to sometimes in the middle of the night wake up and remember your schoolmate. Many of you were present when it happened. We need to give you special psychosocial support that can help you to deal with all the emotions that you continue to feel,” she told students.

Minister Williams attempting to offer words of comfort to students at Kingston Technical High School during her visit to the Hanover Street-based institution in downtown Kingston on October 3, 2022 following last week’s fatal stabbing of a student at the institution. (Photo: JIS)

“You’re going to go through many more stages but we’re here to help you and to continue to provide the support,” she stressed.

Minister Williams also assured that the ministry will reach out to the families that have been directly impacted by the incident that resulted in the death of 16-year-old Michion Campbell.

“We know that they are both grieving. We have lost two students, one died because of the stabbing and the other one, we know that life is going to be different. The law is going to have to take its course, but we have to ensure that we provide support as well for the family and to see how best we can get them through the situation,” she pointed out.

Williams appealed for the incident not to be used as a moment to blame but “for all of us to pause and say, ‘how can we make our school a safer place, how can we ensure that when we come here, we come here to get the maximum that we can in terms of our learning’.”

Continuing, she urged students to find peaceful ways of resolving conflicts that may arise, noting that the incident occurred despite the presence of metal detectors and searches conducted at the school.

A security guard at the Kingston Technical High School uses a hand-held metal detector while searching a student at the Hanover Street-based institution in downtown Kingston on October 3, 2022. (Photo: JIS)

“We have to reach the hearts and minds of you our students. We have to reach the hearts and minds of families from which you come, to help them to help you to be the student that we want you to be, to be able to relate to each other peacefully and to manage those conflict situations that you may find yourselves in,” the minister noted.

According to Williams, the Education and Youth Ministry will continue to work with the principal and staff at the institution.

Minister of Education Fayval Williams (left) conversing with Maulton Campbell, principal of Kingston Technical High, during her visit to the Hanover Street-based institution in downtown Kingston on October 3 following the fatal stabbing of a student at the institution recently. (Photo: JIS)

“Let us continue to work together; let us continue to provide the guidance for the students, the support, the psychosocial support so that we get them through this period. Every single one of them is going to need the support to understand what happened here and to help them through this grieving process,” she added.

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