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May 9, 2014
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JCF launches school competition aimed at behaviour modification

The Jamaica Constabulary Force, through its Community Safety and Security Branch, recently launched The Safest School Competition, aimed at behaviour modification in high schools across St Thomas.

The programme was launch out of concern that more than 300 students across the parish had been cautioned for violent and various anti-social behaviour issues each year since 2012.

Superintendent of Police for St Thomas, Merrick Watson, said the behaviour-modification programme for schools in the parish is one with a difference, as it is aimed at creating a positive impact among the students.

"It is anticipated that children in the programme will seek to make their school the safest. it (competition) will not only be judged on general safety, but a number of categories including fights, extortion, theft and offensive weapons, methods will be used that will capture information for judging through a phantom reporter going into schools, logging indecent, language, fights, bullying, vandalism, smoking and destruction of property," he said.

"The team with the least amount of incidents logged will be declared the winner," he added.

Meanwhile, in lauding the efforts of the police in the parish, Assistant Commissioner of Police Norman Heywood said the levels of violence in schools were not allowing teachers to teach, but rather to keep order.

He said the competition will seek to enhance the teaching and learning environment, along with beautification, that will be positive for all.

Motivational speaker from the Ministry of Youth and Culture, Miguel 'Steppa' Williams, urged the youngsters to 'pull up their socks', while avoiding gender discrimination. He bemoaned the reality that it was not degraded, but encouraged, when a seven-year-old boy was seen gyrating on a woman at a dance, but it would have been considered offensive had a girl did the same.

"Such gender bias needs to change," Steppa said. "As people, we need to recognise when we are doing wrong, in all aspects."

The competition was designed and initiated by Sergeant Omar Marthluck, sub-officer of the St Thomas Community Safety and Security Branch.

The schools participating in the competition include St Thomas Technical High, Yallahs High, Seaforth High, Robert Lightbourne High, Paul Bogle High and Morant Bay High, from which representatives signed a document of commitment to the competition.

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