JM | Mar 17, 2023

RJ school tour engages Denham Town High students  

/ Our Today

Reading Time: 2 minutes
Minister of Education and Youth Fayval Williams responds to a question posed by a student from the Denham Town High School in Kingston, during a restorative justice school tour in partnership with the Ministry of Justice. The session was held at the Open Bible Church on Spanish Town Road on Tuesday (March 14). (Photo: Contributed)

Scores of students from Denham Town High School in Kingston have benefited from support to better handle conflicts through the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Education and Youth’s restorative justice school tour.

Denham Town High is one of 500 schools being targeted for the intervention, which aims to promote alternative dispute resolution measures as a means of addressing school violence.

Forty-six students from the school were identified for support from a risk assessment of more than 105 students from the Denham Town division that was undertaken by the Restorative Justice Unit (RJU) in the Justice Ministry last year.

To date, more than 19 have been trained in alternative dispute resolution measures. The tour stop on Tuesday (March 14), at the Open Bible Church on Spanish Town Road, included presentations from representatives of the RJU, a dramatic skit and a dance performance, all centred on imparting conflict-resolution skills.

The students also had the opportunity to pose questions to Fayval Williams, minister of education and youth and Delroy Chuck, minister of justice, who were in attendance.

Williams, while encouraging students to be examples of peacebuilders in their school and communities, said restorative justice skills will help them to handle confrontations respectfully.

 Minister of Justice Delroy Chuck (left) and Minister of Education and Youth Fayval Williams (centre) looks on as grade-13 student, Denham Town High School, Tasheka Treasure (right), performs a dance item during a restorative justice school tour held at the Open Bible Church on Spanish Town Road on Tuesday (March 14). (Photo: Contributed)

“You will get the upper hand in the confrontation. Restorative justice practices will teach you how to de-escalate conflict situations,” she noted.

On his part, Chuck noted that “restorative justice is about accepting responsibility for the wrongs that you have done”.

“You have to learn to get along with each other, and it means that you must learn how to resolve disputes,” he pointed out further.

Students can access victim services and conflict resolution and life skills training, among others, at the relevant restorative justice centres in their communities.

In the meantime, Chuck said work continues to sensitise parents and teachers on alternative dispute measures.

In 2022, the RJU of the ministry engaged more than 130 persons in sessions, which included senior teachers and vice principals.

Other stakeholders being sensitised include the Church, where approximately 3,000 congregants will be reached.


What To Read Next