HORACE HINES Observer West reporter Thursday, July 30, 2015
MONTEGO BAY, St James — HIGGLERS across St James will now be banned from selling outside school gates come September as the parish council and police move to make these areas no-vending zone.
|Stalls at the gate of the Maldon High School in St James|
Mayor of Montego Bay Glendon Harris made the announcement yesterday: "We are to have a meeting with the vendors to remove the stalls. No vending at the school gate in the prescribed distance. We are going to be dealing with all the schools in the parish. Remember, we did Corinaldi Primary already and we did Anchovy High," Harris said.
The fatal stabbing of 15-year-old Maldon High School student Romario Salmon, by a group of knife-wielding students, factored into the decision to prohibit vending at school gates. A vendor reportedly kept the weapon used to stab Salmon.
Commander of the St James Police Division Senior Superintendent Steve McGregor said that vendors would definitely be removed from Maldon High School.
"I have spoken to the mayor, and we have spoken to the vendors at Maldon, because we are going to move them. We are going to meet with them before, sensitise them as it relates to the illegality of what they are doing, and then remove them," McGregor said recently.
"We find that we are going to have to look at the other schools. So that is why we engage with the mayor, because we are going through the [parish] council to see how we can work with them, because we find that this practice [of storing contraband for students] is widespread and we can't wait," McGregor said.
The move comes a week after Minister of Education Ronald Thwaites told Parliament that protocols were needed to govern school vending.
"Because oftentimes there have been reports that contrabands, weapons and illegal substances are pervaded side by side with the tangerines, the cheese trix and the school supplies," Thwaites said.
McGregor told the Jamaica Observer West that the vendor who allegedly kept the murder weapon in the Maldon incident has subsequently been charged with accessory to murder.
"The youngster who killed the other one at Maldon, he went to school with a knife in his bag. The checkpoint system of the school was so good that what he did was to leave the knife with one of those vendors that sell at the gate," McGregor said. more