While welcoming plans by Education Minister Fayval Williams that the Government will will CCTV cameras at primary and infant school entry points in the wake of the death of eight-year-old Danielle Rowe, the Parents’ Alliance Jamaica is pushing for even heightened security measures to protect students.
In a statement on Sunday (June 18), alliance chairman Reverend Herro Blair says after news of Danielle’s death broke, four recommended security demands, dubbed the ‘Rowe Reforms’, were drafted by its members to “restore trust in the Government’s ability to help protect Jamaica’s children”.
“We are now calling our demands the ‘Rowe Reforms’, and we expect a well-paid Government to recognise the need for this comprehensive solution, since good Governance requires this type of detail,” said Blair.
He noted that the so-called ‘Rowe Reforms’ are not just about Danielle, but includes demands that motivated the creation of Parents Alliance in the first place.
“Our members always intended to call for some of these changes since Jamaica’s children face unusual risks at school and during their commute.”
Danielle’s abduction is extreme, and at another end of the spectrum, children are being exposed to pornographic and violent content regularly; on some public passenger vehicles, bus and taxi stands, and even at some schools.
“The time has come for the Government to stop turning a blind eye to the ills that are destroying the mental health and social fabric of our society for at least another generation,” Blair argued.
“We are pleased that the Education Minister likely shares our view that security must be improved across state schools. Some people have called Minister Williams’ announcement a ‘knee jerk reaction’, but we understand that a necessary comprehensive security review, and the standardisation and funding of a national school security protocol will take some time,” he added.
The ‘Rowe Reforms’ include:
- The implementation of state-owned transportation services for students, ensuring safe and reliable transportation to and from school.
- The establishment of a standardised and adequately funded national security protocol across all state-funded and operated schools, ensuring that all schools have the necessary resources to maintain a secure and safe learning environment.
- Mandatory installation of CCTV cameras and fencing around the perimeter of all State schools, providing an additional layer of security and surveillance.
- The provision of tracking and monitoring devices for students in high-risk cases, enabling schools to quickly respond to potential threats and ensure the safety of all students.
The alliance will also be launching a public petition to bring awareness to its demands before they are formally presented to relevant stakeholders.
As far as its leaders are concerned, “Danielle Rowe’s callous murder leaves a lasting stain and deserves a lasting solution. It should not pass society by as another nine-day-wonder”.