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Union president wants school security beefed up

Guardian Staff Reporter

Published: Oct 28, 2013

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With two recent alleged attacks on educators still fresh on his mind, the president of the Bahamas Educators Managerial Union (BEMU) is calling for security to be beefed up at public schools.

"I think [school administrators] need to move to ensure that security is enforced," BEMU President Charles Wildgoose told The Nassau Guardian during a recent interview.  "These are troublesome times and sometimes adults, parents etc., they vent their frustrations in various ways."

He added that while school safety has always been an issue of national importance, much of the focus has been directed at keeping the students safe.

Wildgoose said with the recent attack on a Grand Bahama principal and the alleged assault of an Anatol Rogers High School teacher, some of that focus has to shift to protecting educators.

Earlier this month, the mother of an Anatol Rogers student was charged with assaulting a teacher at that school.

The 53-year-old pleaded not guilty to the charge and was released on bail.

Her trial is expected to begin on December 11.

Two weeks before that alleged assault, a Grand Bahama parent was sentenced to six months in jail after pleading guilty to assaulting the principal of Jack Hayward High School on that island.

Wildgoose said while principals are not in fear, they are concerned about the incidents.

He said educators have the right to feel safe in their working environments.

"When managers go to work, themselves and their property must be protected. We go in there to impart knowledge and to train our children, and we can't be looking over our shoulders to see which outsider may come in and attack us.  So the necessary protection must be there.

"I think increased security will prevent further action from taking place.  It's the job now of the administrative team to ensure that the security personnel are in place."

Wildgoose thanked Minister of Education Jerome Fitzgerald for speaking out against the attacks on educators.

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