The principal of the Ottos Comprehensive School (OCS) Forster Roberts insists that parents should be held responsible and even penalized for the behavior of their children.
Over the May Day holiday, the OCS was vandalized and the perpetrators used spray paint to deface the walls with graphite. The toilet was also stained and they set fire to the biology lab, destroying teachers’ textbooks and the School Base Assessment of a student.
Other parts of the building were also defaced.
“Something has to be done to parents who are not living up to their responsibility and I am one of those who will say lock them up. Drastic action must be taken because we are living in these kinds of times. We cannot be sugarcoating anything now”, Roberts said in an interview with the media yesterday.
He said while minors must also be held responsible for their actions, they should be dealt with differently.
“I am not saying nothing should happen to the child because we need facilities to deal with them and we don’t have them at present but something needs to be done. These are the actions for young people who are crying out for assistance and the state has a responsibility. The parents also have a responsibility, the churches and the schools have a responsibility,” Roberts said.
Vandalism and break-ins have been a repeated occurrence at the OCS and several other schools; one of the main reasons teachers have been crying out for adequate security.
Roberts confirmed that at the OCS, the government provides security during school hours but the compound is unattended after 3 pm. There is also no security on the weekends.
But Director of Education Clare Browne explained that there are guards at the school during working hours while CCTV cameras are used at night.