Social intervention has been recommended for the 17-year-old student who allegedly made threats to the Pentecostal Light and Life Foundation a few weeks ago.
On June 1, the fifth grader allegedly threatened to “shoot the school”, after a confrontation earlier in the week.
The Tobago Police and the THA’s Education, Research and Technology Division investigated the incident.
Police say the student behaved in a disruptive manner during the CXC English exam. This continued during the math exam and she was asked to leave the classroom and the school premises.
Police said that as the student left, a passerby heard him “making statements that he would take a gun and shoot at the school.” The passerby informed the principal of the statement and the student was subsequently suspended.
On Tuesday, a senior police officer told Newsday that the student and his parents were questioned at their home last week. The police also searched the house.
“A warrant was executed and we were able to search the premises to make sure there was nothing illegal in the home. But nothing was found,” he said.
“The investigation is therefore comprehensive in terms of recommending interventions such as anger management to ensure that the student becomes a more improved person and could contribute more meaningfully to society.”
Contacted for comment, TTUTA Tobago officer Bradon Roberts said he did not follow up on the investigation.
When told that social intervention had been recommended for the student, Roberts said: ‘I don’t know if that reflects the type of intervention needed in the education system.
“We need education reform where education is more meaningful and interesting for students, so that we don’t wait until we lose our children and then try to have an intervention.”
Roberts said students who have graduated from high school have told him that the subjects they are studying do not apply to their daily lives.
“So if students don’t see where aspects of education impact their daily lives, it will be difficult to capture their attention. We need to have steps to keep our angels angels – not to make them fear punishment, but more interested in good behavior and positive reinforcement.
Roberts said that in the absence of corporal punishment, society has used other strategies to bring discipline to young people. He said some did not succeed.
“We don’t have training camps, so we copy and paste aspects that we think might work, and we shoot ourselves in the foot.”
Roberts said that if social intervention strategies have been recommended for the student, “the public should know what the impact of these measures is.
“We really need to keep our kids on track rather than seeing if we can punish them.”
Roberts said he hopes the Tobago-centric curriculum, which Education Secretary Zorisha Hackett mentioned a few months ago, will include strategies to make learning more enjoyable and applicable to students’ needs after leaving school.
“But I haven’t heard from it since. It will take time to develop and plan.
Reporting on his division’s management during the THA’s first quarterly report on April 4, 2022, Hackett said that under the leadership of the Progressive Democratic Patriot-led THA, the island’s school curriculum would be centered on Tobago.
She said the new approach would improve student performance by revising the division’s mission, vision and goals.
Hackett said interdisciplinary approaches to education would integrate other divisions of the THA “to promote the overall quality of life of Tobagonians.”
It would also lead to higher rates of digital literacy.
She said the programs and projects would target different learners and promote inclusiveness within the formal and informal education system.