WITH chants of “Enough is enough” and “We want justice”, students and staff of Charlemont High in St Catherine yesterday morning led a march to denounce the upsurge in crime and violence in society.
The march, which was well supported by the community, was held in memory of the school’s beloved mathematics teacher, Tanijah Howell, who was brutally murdered in February in the neighbouring parish of St Ann.
|Students March Against Crime in Jamaica|
The Charlemont-led peace march was supported by several other schools in that section of St Catherine, including McGrath High, Bog Walk High, and Dinthill Technical High, as well as the Optimist Club, Linstead Community Development Committee, the Jamaica Constabulary Force, past students of Charlemont, parents, and several residents of Linstead.
“Today’s march is not only in memory of Mr Howell; today’s march also signifies that as a school community we are tired, fed up, and we are asking all members in the community to come on board with us. Enough is enough and we are saying no to violence towards all members of our community,” Charlemont Principal Garth Gayle told the Jamaica Observer yesterday. When asked what the school hoped to achieve from the march, he said: “It’s simply bringing realisation of where we are a country, and that we as a school are standing up to say we want the violence to stop; because when [no action is taken] it will eventually feed back into the school and we don’t want that.”
Participants in the march, led by Principal Gayle, journeyed from the school, just outside Linstead, to the Linstead Transportation Centre in the town square shortly after 8 in the morning, bearing placards which called for an end to crime and violence.
Former Youth Minister Lisa Hanna, in an address to the gathering, urged the students to examine themselves and to correct their behaviours and attitudes if they wanted to make an impact in the fight against crime.
“It’s not a very hard thing to solve, just check yuhself, check the music you listen, check how you relate to one another, check the way you dress,” she said.
“One of the problems we are facing is in your generation and what passes as disagreement is a culture of aggression, so it’s difficult for you to accept different opinions because you want to be right sometimes. And because you don’t have the ability sometimes to express an alternative view many of you get violent,” she said, in an apparent reference to the opposition she faced when she suggested earlier this year that music by imprisoned entertainer “Vybz Kartel” be banned from airplay. more