Therapy begins today for CHSS students following mask intruders

Editorial Staff

Feb 1, 2023

Clare Hall Secondary School

Counseling sessions are to begin this morning for students at the Clare Hall Secondary School after a traumatizing situation yesterday.

According to reports at approximately 12:40 p.m. two young men entered the campus with their faces concealed and carrying a cutlass and golf club.

The young men were discovered in the vicinity of the Form Five building, maneuvering as though searching for someone.

A member of the custodial staff was able to alert teachers to their presence, and in the process, prompted the intruders to run away.

At the time of the incident, there were two security officers on duty, yet the intruders were able to gain access to the plant.

A report was made to the police who responded promptly but officers were unable to apprehend the intruders.

This incident prompted a dismissal at 1:10 p.m. once the principal and staff were certain that there was no longer a threat.

In a letter to parents issued last night, the principal Ashworth Azille, said while no one sustained any physical injuries, they remain “acutely aware that many of our students and teachers were left traumatized by the development. In this regard a team of counselors will be available tomorrow to speak with students and teachers who may wish to unpack today’s experience,” the letter stated.

The school insists that the safety and well-being of staff and students remain a high priority, and yesterday’s incident will intensify ongoing discussions about the need to improve school security, while also addressing deviant behavior.

“This incident has also highlighted the need for us to improve our emergency response protocol-a matter that will be addressed most immediately,” according to the statement.

All this comes as calls are mounting for armed guards to be placed in public schools to ensure the safety of students and teachers

Some parents and guardians of children who attend CHSS, our newsroom, learned, have vowed not to send their children back to school for the rest of this week for fear that the perpetrators of Tuesday’s attack might return.

Last year, the issue of gang violence among young people was rampant in Antigua and Barbuda.

Several young people were injured and sustained serious life-threatening injuries as a result.

During last week’s Cabinet press briefing, Information Minister Melford Nicholas said that the government is moving with haste to beef up security at schools.

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