Students are being encouraged by Justice Minister, Delroy Chuck, to report wrongdoings committed by their peers.
Addressing students at Marcus Garvey Technical High School, in St. Ann, Chuck said he wants them to “be undercover agents for wrongdoings of all kinds.”
“So, if you see wrongdoing anywhere, I am not asking you to go out there and stop it. Bring it to the attention of your teacher, your guidance counsellor, someone who can refer it to the police, if necessary; someone who can refer it to the principal, and the principal can call in the wrongdoers and do something about it,” he said.
Chuck told the students that they are the future of the country and, as such, must begin to build strong characters.
“Strong character means that you must be someone that others will respect. Every single one of you can be somebody, the somebody that each one of you wants to become,” he emphasised.
The Minister also underscored to the students, the importance of leading a peaceful life.
“When there is no peace in your life, you can’t have harmony; and when there is no justice in your life, you can’t have peace. So students, we want all of you to be somebody. But for you to be somebody, you have to make sure you have harmony in your life and that you can grow up to be the person that your teacher and your parents want you to be,” Chuck said.
Ministry conducting school tours
The event formed part of the Ministries of Justice, and Ministry of Education and Youth’s Restorative Justice School Tour.
The tour aims to introduce restorative justice practices to several schools islandwide. Approximately 232 schools successfully introduced restorative justice last year. This year, some 500 schools are targeted.
This move also coincides with a partnership between the Justice Ministry and churches, where 3,000 congregations are to be sensitised on restorative justice.
Students from Marcus Garvey Technical High and schools from surrounding areas attended Friday’s session.
Defined as a process whereby all the parties with a stake in a particular offence come together to collectively resolve how to deal with the aftermath of the issue, restorative justice uses forgiveness in restoring peace and de-escalating conflicts.